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UPDATED: Judge Rejects Motion Seeking Sentence Reduction

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Woman who stole money from a tornado relief fund wanted state district judge in Clovis to reduce 10-year prison sentence

A state district judge in Clovis has rejected a motion seeking a reduction in the sentence for a woman who stole money from a tornado relief fund, the Clovis New Journal reported.

Lori Howard had filed the motion asking District Judge Teddy Hartley to reconsider the 10-year prison sentence he had given her earlier this year, the newspaper said.

The News Journal reported that according to District Attorney Matt Chandler, Howard’s attorney asked Hartley during a hearing Wednesday to consider probation in lieu of prison for Howard. Chandler, who opposed the motion, said the judge ordered that the sentence remain the same.

Howard pleaded guilty to 72 counts of embezzlement and fraud and faced a maximum sentence of 135 years in prison for stealing $145,000 while working with the Eastern Plains Council of Governments, the News Journal reported.

 


 

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:09

 

A woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars while she was an employee of the Eastern Plains Council of Governments was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, the Clovis News Journal reported.

Lori Howard, who pleaded guilty to 72 counts of embezzlement and fraud and faced a maximum sentence of 135 years in prison, appeared before state District Judge Teddy Hartley for sentencing, according to the newspaper.

The judge told the 40-year-old Howard, who admitted stealing $145,000 in tornado victim relief money after a 2007 tornado that destroyed dozens of homes in Clovis and killed two elderly residents, that the money was intended for the use of people harmed by circumstances beyond their control. Hartley called Howard a crook and a thief, and said in some ways the sentence was too light, the News Journal reported.

The newspaper reported that Howard said during the hearing that she stole the money because she wanted to provide for her family after she suffered to heart attacks and thought she was going to die.

Hartley asked District Attorney Matt Chandler if there was any evidence Howard saved money for her family in the event she died, and Chandler said she had spent the money faster than she embezzled it.

 

 

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