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Man gets jail for theft, failure to appear in court

February 28, 2002|By STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania man who said he missed his court sentencing because he was in a halfway house in Florida was handed a stiffer punishment Wednesday in Franklin County Court.

Adam Safrit, of Hanover, Pa., had pleaded guilty to theft but failed to appear for his sentencing on Dec. 26, 2001.

He was picked up in Florida last month and returned to Pennsylvania. He has been held in Franklin County Prison ever since, Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said.

Judge Richard Walsh sentenced Safrit to three to 23 months in county jail, with 12 days credit. He ran the sentence from Jan. 26 when Safrit was returned to the county.

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The jail term will be followed by 36 months of probation, and Walsh ordered Safrit to pay a $200 fine and $1,200 in restitution.

Walsh said he sentenced Safrit above the standard range, which is probation to one month in jail, because he did not show up for his sentencing "without good justification."

He said Safrit also failed to pay any restitution since his arrest, was not living at his court-approved address and during a previous meting he left the courthouse before the matter was resolved.

Safrit said his father had kicked him out of his home and he had nowhere to go other than the halfway house in Florida.

"I had no car, no job. I apologize for not being here on Dec. 26," he said.

"Obviously he should have informed people what he was doing," defense attorney Candice Baker-Leit said.

Safrit, 21, was charged last year for using a woman's ATM card without her permission and wiped out her savings account, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 19, 2001, Safrit used the card at various ATMs in Franklin County to remove $1,222.34 from the woman's account, the affidavit said.

Safrit said he thought he would have the funds back in her account before she discovered the money was missing, according to court records.

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