Manchester resident and former legal assistant Sheila Vaughn has self-published  a debut novel, and it is one that promises many twists and turns for any lover of true crime stories and the inner workings of the legal system.

“Superseding Indictment” is based on a true story that Vaughn followed throughout its four-year duration. The case so thoroughly gripped her heart that she was determined to share the story with anyone who would listen.

While Vaughn did not make the story entirely factual in order to maintain the privacy of all who were involved, her story is still filled with truth that everyone needs to know.

The protagonist, daycare owner Sheri Martin is charged with two counts of first-degree murder after Kayla, a 6-year-old special needs child who had been in the custody of the Martins for three years, tragically dies.

Sherri’s legal team is led by one of Tennessee’s best criminal defense attorneys. The opposing force consists of a prosecutor whose ruthless reputation precedes him and the District Attorney who sees the case as a way to increase his chance of winning his upcoming re-election. The odds are stacked against Sherri, but she will not go without a fight.   

Vaughn hopes that her story with emphasize to parents the importance of researching the truth, especially when the situation concerns one’s medical well-being. A significant aspect of the story relates to medical-professional error, and while there are many medical professionals who excel at their work, they are still capable of making mistakes. Taking someone else’s word without any personal investigation can lead to mistakes and missed information. When dealing with someone’s health, mistakes cannot afford to be made, and Vaughn hopes that this story will encourage parents to take an active role in their children’s medical care.

When a patient’s medical treatment is not managed properly, it has the potential to do far more harm than good. The same can be said for the legal system. The legal system is intended to enact justice, but flawed people create flaws in their work. This book allows readers to study the structure and functionality of the legal system, but it also makes them aware of the flaws that can arise.

Vaughn’s experience in the legal field gave her the necessary background to understand and report on the case. When asked if she had done any creative writing before this book, Vaughn replied that she had not and that “this case just got me so fired up that I was compelled to write the story. I started writing probably within two weeks of when the trial ended. There were a lot of things that transpired in the trial that needed to come out.” This case caused her to pursue a new field. She spent many long nights writing and perfecting this book, and after holding onto her work for over a decade, she is finally releasing it to the world.

Legal professionals and amateur sleuths alike will find plenty to love throughout the story’s depiction of the legal system and one woman’s fight to prove her innocence.

In regard to her book, Vaughn stated, “This was fascinating to me, and I have never seen another book about a story like this.”

 This unique story has plenty for readers to love, and they can find Vaughn’s book on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. The author hopes to have a book launch in Manchester after the conclusion of the holiday season.


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