GREENVILLE — A former store manager convicted of stealing more than $14,000 was spared further jail time at her sentencing in Darke County Common Pleas Court Thursday.
Kimberly M. Schmidt, 32, of Celina, entered a guilty plea to a charge of grand theft in August for stealing money while she was a manager of Ansonia’s Dollar General Store during the period from June 2014 to January 2015.
Judge Jonathan P. Hein sentenced Schmidt to community control (probation), restitution and community service for her “drug abuse motivated” theft.
Hein had strong words for the defendant’s “experimental” use of multiple drugs in her history, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
“Is that how you look at life?” Hein asked. “Just try whatever comes along? You can’t experiment your way through life.
“There’s a reason people don’t jump over cliffs experimentally. Ever go to the Grand Canyon? Would you experiment jumping over the side of the Grand Canyon? No. Because it’d be really stupid and fatal, right? But that’s the kind of mentality I see on your substance abuse. You’re only experimenting your way through every known drug category there is, I start wondering what’s the next experiment you want to have.”
Both prosecution and defense agreed in their recommendation to the court that, despite the large sum of money involved, community control sanctions would be appropriate. Both noted that a prior felony offense in Van Wert County, attempted abduction, made Schmidt ineligible for intervention.
“From the beginning we knew that Mrs. Schmidt had made the assertion that heroin was really behind this,” said R. Kelly Ormsby, Darke County Prosecutor. “She had employment until she got involved with heroin approximately six months before this was all discovered, and by her statements, her life went downhill from that bad decision going forward.”
Ormsby said with this amount of money, normally the state would recommend a prison sentence, but her drug use had clearly changed her behavior and habits.
Defense attorney Randall Breaden noted Schmidt had served 59 days in jail and “had a substantial drug problem” and had stolen to support the heroin use.
“Prison’s not the place for a person like this,” Breaden said.
Schmidt failed to appear for a status conference in the case in April, and her OR (own recognizance) bond was revoked and a bench warrant issued for her arrest.
She was then released on a $20,000 bond, which was later revoked for failure to comply with pretrial supervision and report with the court.
Her bond was then revoked entirely, and she was detained in Darke County Jail.
Schmidt was ordered to pay $14,967.40 restitution and sentenced to up to 60 months of community control under intensive supervision and 59 days in jail with credit for the full amount served. She also was ordered to complete 75 hours of community service. Court costs and rehabilitation programs as recommended by the probation department were also ordered.
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