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Taylor, penniless, appears in court

BEAUMONT, Texas -- A woman arrested earlier this month at Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki's house cleared up one mystery about herself during a court appearance Monday: her name.

Authorities have at least eight aliases for Crista Ann Taylor, 37, with the most recent one being Crystal Taylor. She was indicted under that name in September 2006 on a theft of services charge for failing to pay a Beaumont dentist for dental work ranging from $1,500 to $20,000.

It also was the name authorities arrested her under on May 6 at Nowitzki's Dallas home.

During her initial court appearance Monday, Jefferson County Criminal District Court Judge John Stevens asked her to clear up her identity.

"What is the name on your birth certificate," he asked Taylor, who wore a blue county jail jumpsuit and had her hands handcuffed in the front.

She responded it was Crista Ann Taylor, spelling it out for the judge.

During the brief court hearing, Taylor also told Stevens she has no money to hire an attorney, no income, no property and no savings.

Stevens appointed an attorney for her and reset her arraignment for June 8. She remains in the Jefferson County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

What still remains a mystery is Taylor's relationship with Nowitzki. The former NBA MVP has repeatedly declined to discuss his relationship with her.

Court records list Taylor's address in Dallas as Nowitzki's nearly $6 million home.

"I think you guys are here because she knows someone who is a celebrity," Taylor's attorney, Don Duesler, told reporters after the hearing, including one from Nowitzki's native Germany.

Duesler declined to comment on whether his client planned to go to trial or would try to work out a plea agreement.

Taylor also was arrested for a probation violation out of St. Charles County, Mo. She pleaded guilty in 1999 to two counts of forgery and two counts of felony stealing after being accused of passing bad checks through a bank. She had multiple five-year prison sentences suspended, Missouri prosecutors have said.