Former Sheriff's Office Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Former Greene Sheriff's Office Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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A former Greene County Sheriff's Office animal control officer has pleaded guilty to taking more than $19,000 from an evidence room. 

In court Tuesday, 41-year-old James Shifflett said he took the money. He entered into a plea agreement on one count of embezzlement.

Shifflett took more than $19,000 from the evidence room at the Greene County Sheriff's Office between April 2009 and December 2011, when he was in charge of it.  The sheriff says the money was from 30 different investigations including drug cases.

"We had a case coming for court that the deputies were going through the evidence, and there was some money involved and the money was missing," explained Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith.

In court, the special prosecutor on the case, Goochland County Commonwealth's Attorney Claiborne Stokes, said once the missing money was noticed, Shifflett wanted to confess.  "No case is a slam dunk, but he was cooperative with the police," he said.

Defense attorney Charles Bowman said, "I don't want to try to comment on his emotions. He's obviously very remorseful about what happened, and that's obviously reflected in how he pled today."

Shifflett started his career with the sheriff's office in 2004. He was not reappointed to his position by Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith.

Shifflett will be sentenced on January 8, and faces up to 20 years in prison.

The sheriff says a firearm is still missing from that evidence room. Shifflett is a suspect. 

In addition, a second special prosecutor says he's looking into a second missing money case from the Greene County Sheriff's Office.  Details of the second investigation are not being released at this point.

As for any effect the first case has on pending cases, the sheriff says he expects to see lawyers file objections to their client's charges because of missing evidence.


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