Former Belpre resident sentenced on forgery charge

12-12 stout plea

After pleading guilty last month to forgery, a former Belpre woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail Tuesday.

Ashley Stout, 33, of 337 Heatherbridge Lane, Blacklick, was found guilty of the third-degree felony Dec. 11 and in Washington County Common Pleas Judge Randall Burnworth’s courtroom she apologized for stealing from a local elderly doctor while he was in her care through Comfort Keepers.

“I just would like to apologize, I know what I did was wrong and I’ve learned from my mistakes,” she said. “It will never happen again. I’ve done everything I can since then to get my life back on track and I’m asking that you please keep that in mind and help me get through this.”

Stout wrote checks to herself out of the checkbook of client David Ashcraft, 74, of Marietta, between November 2015 and October 2016 for a total of $21,700 while working as a day aide with Comfort Keepers. Comfort Keepers had a bonding company which paid Ashcraft back so Burnworth did not order restitution.

“The evidence in the case was clear what the impact on the victim was,” said Burnworth.

Stout could have been sentenced to up to three years in prison for the conviction.

“The defendant stole ($21,700) from a man that she was put in charge of taking care of,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Derkin. “This is one of those crimes that you steal from someone that needs your help, that being said we recommend a prison sentence of two years.”

But Burnworth said there were no prison factors present and thus only imposed a jail sentence of 90 days with one day of credit for time served prior to sentencing and one year of community control.

“She has no prior convictions and has been a law-abiding citizen for several years,” he said. “Don’t mess up.”

At a glance

¯ Ashley Stout, 33, of 337 Heatherbridge Lane, Blacklick, was sentenced to 90 days jail and one year of community control Tuesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

¯ Stout wrote checks out of a client’s checkbook while employed by Comfort Keepers for a total of $21,700.

¯ The victim, David Ashcraft, was paid back by Comfort Keepers’ bonding agency.

Source: Washington County Common Pleas Court.

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