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Blind man asks court for mercy for woman who stole from him

December 08, 2010|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A blind man Tuesday asked a Washington County Circuit Court judge not to send the housekeeper who stole from him to prison.


Judge W. Kennedy Boone III complied with the victim’s request, sentencing Theresa Marie Long to a five-year suspended sentence with three years on probation.


“I don’t want her to go to jail. I feel sorry for her, I guess,” the Williamsport man told Boone.


Long, 29, of 185 Margruder Ave., Falling Waters, W.Va., pleaded guilty to theft scheme under $1,000. Two counts each of credit-card theft, unauthorized use of a signature and theft of less than $1,000 were dismissed in exchange for the plea.


Long had been hired by the man to clean his house, take care of him and run errands, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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The man had given Long permission to use his debit card to make specific withdrawals, but discovered she had withdrawn an extra $100 from his account, the charging documents said. The man confronted Long about the money, and she returned it, the documents said.


But in February the man discovered two more unauthorized withdrawals totaling $340, withdrawals which were captured by a surveillance camera at an ATM, the documents said.


Long’s criminal history includes several theft convictions over the past decade, Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen told Boone. The prosecution was asking for a sentence of 18 months for Long, she said.


Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa argued for a suspended sentence, noting that Long was a heroin addict who is now enrolled in a methadone drug-treatment program. Long also has an infant child and is pregnant again, Villa said.


“You’re getting a break here today,” Boone told Long. “Most importantly, because of the request made by the victim.”

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