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Former Jefferson band director gets probation

December 18, 2000

Former Jefferson band director gets probation



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A former band director at Jefferson High School, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to obtaining money and property under false pretenses, was placed on probation for a year Monday, according to court officials.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr.'s ruling reflects a plea agreement that was worked out for David Lloyd Wilson in June.

The misdemeanor charge Wilson pleaded guilty to carries up to a year in jail, but the sentence was suspended under the plea bargain.

Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge after he allegedly bought a $322 bass guitar using money from a discretionary fund at the school, said Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Thompson.

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The guitar was later sold to a student but the money was never returned to the school fund, Thompson said.

Wilson was initially indicted for grand larceny, obtaining money and services by false pretenses where common scheme exits, obtaining money and services by false pretenses, obtaining money by false pretenses where common scheme exists and obtaining money by false pretenses.

The indictment stemmed from a laptop computer and printer that were stolen from the high school and personal phone calls that were charged to the band's telephone. From June 1995 to January 1998, Wilson also allegedly submitted travel-expense vouchers to the Jefferson County Board of Education even though he had already received money for the expenses from the Jefferson County Fine Arts Association, according to the indictment.

There was discussion in the case about how much restitution Wilson should make to the Jefferson County Board of Education, and the figures were in the thousands of dollars.

When asked why Wilson agreed to make restitution when he only pleaded guilty to one charge, his attorney, Jim Kratovil, said it was "easier to pay it than to fight it."

Under the plea agreement, the charges in the indictment will remain pending against Wilson, according to Kratovil.

When Wilson entered his plea in June, he agreed to plead guilty to a separate criminal information of obtaining money and property under false pretenses.Superintendent of Schools David W. Markoe said Monday he will consider letting the initial charges die if Wilson follows the terms of his probation and makes the restitution that was agreed upon.

Wilson has already paid the $8,000 to the School Board. The board was requesting another $27,500, which included time that Markoe and the schools financial officer spent preparing the case, Markoe said.

Steptoe said at a hearing last month that the board could not seek restitution for the time Markoe and the financial officer invested in the case.

Steptoe ruled that the additional restitution Wilson would have to make to the board would be $2,438.78, Markoe said.

Markoe said the additional amount has not been paid.

Wilson, who resigned as band director in April 1998, was regarded as a talented band director who helped make the Jefferson High School Jazz Ensemble one of the most successful groups in West Virginia. The group once played with the Beach Boys at the national Fourth of July Celebration in Washington. In 1991, the group was rated fourth in Down Beat jazz magazine.

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