Testimony began Tuesday in 35th District Court in the trial of a former bank teller who is accused of stealing $18,000 from a bank where she worked.

Jeina Hogan, 22, pleaded not guilty to an indictment for theft before prosecutor Ryan Locker and defense attorney Keith Woodley began their opening statements.

Hogan is accused in the indictment of taking money on multiple occasions in April and May 2005 from the Wal-Mart branch of Citizens National Bank.

She began working at the bank as a Brownwood High School senior and was a fast learner who trained other tellers, Locker told jurors. An investigation began when tellers discovered that bundles of bills in the safe were missing money, and Hogan’s drawer was found to be $4,000 short, Locker said.

He said jurors will see evidence of Hogan doing cash-outs and trying to hide the transactions by cutting receipts.

Bank officials contacted Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Bobby Duvall, who interviewed Hogan. Hogan did not admit to the theft but offered to “pay the money back to make the problem go away,” Locker told jurors.

Woodley told jurors that his client denies taking any of the money. He said Hogan did not have access to the safe and that other people besides Hogan had access to her bank drawer.

Hogan worked part time at the bank for about 90 days, from March to June 2005, Woodley told jurors.

Also in 35th District Court:

Eric Lee Morgan recently pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Margaret Delarosa Lopez pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to four years in prison. Lopez, on probation for possession of a controlled substance, was adjudicated and sentenced to 180 days in state jail.

Rebecca Ann Nolen pleaded guilty to forgery and was sentenced to 12 months in state jail.