Two Charged In Songbook Theft

Two people accused of stealing a Hank Williams notebook believed to be worth about $250,000 surrendered to police, even though one claims to have obtained the book legitimately.

The notebook contains jottings and song lyrics from Williams, who died in 1953 at age 29.

Stephen Shutts and Francine Boykin were each charged October 30th with felony theft before being released on $2,500 bond.

Shutts, co-owner of the traveling Honky Tonk Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Roadshow, previously said he purchased the notebook for an undisclosed amount this summer after being contacted about it, purportedly by Boykin, last November.

According to an arrest warrant, Boykin, who previously worked on a cleaning crew at Sony / ATV Music Publishing in Nashville before being fired after she was implicated in some thefts from the office, admitted taking the notebook from the company. But a police spokesman said she claims she found the songbook in the trash.

The songbook has not been returned to Sony/ATV yet, but Shutts’ attorney said the artifact remains in “safekeeping.”