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Woman sentenced for stealing deposits from employer

March 21, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg woman who stole bank deposits from her employer to support her drug habit will spend three months in Franklin County Prison.

Linda L. Witherspoon, 40, of 523 Center St., admitted to police that instead of depositing the cash from sales at the Family Dollar Store in Chambersburg where she was store manager she took the money to continue a drug binge, according to court records.

District Manager William Whitfield confronted Witherspoon after he noticed she did not make several deposits between Nov. 1 and 9, records show.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Witherspoon said she had used up all of her personal savings and started taking money from the nightly deposits to support her drug addiction.

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Witherspoon told police she used the cash to buy drugs and pay for a hotel room during the binge, court records said.

She was charged with theft by unlawful taking Nov. 13. She had previously pleaded guilty to the charge, according to court records.

Defense attorney Sean Fitzgerald requested leniency during Witherspoon's sentencing Wednesday, saying she had cooperated fully with her employer and police.

Franklin County Judge John Walker, however, said Witherspoon had to spend some time in jail.

"Anyone who steals $6,000 is going to jail," he said. "She decided she wanted to get high. I don't have a lot of time for people who steal to do drugs."

Walker sentenced Witherspoon to three months in prison, two months electronic monitoring and two months of intense supervision. Following that, she will spend 77 months on probation.

He also ordered her to pay $6,544.95 restitution to Family Dollar and said he would terminate Witherspoon's probation early if she stays off drugs and makes restitution.

"Maybe some time in the slammer will make you think twice before you use drugs and alcohol," he said.

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