Greene County Man Spared Jail Time for Embezzlement
Jan 8, 2013 05:48 PM EST
A former Greene County animal control officer won't serve any time behind bars for embezzling more than $19,000 from the sheriff's office.
Judge Daniel Bouton sentenced 41-year-old James Shifflett to 10 years, but all of that time was suspended.
Instead of spending time in jail, Shifflett will be under supervised probation for two years and on probation under good behavior for another five. He will be expected to pay back the money he took in full.
The sentencing took about 30 minutes on Tuesday, with two witnesses testifying - Shifflett's father and a Greene County sergeant. They spoke about his remorse and how hard he's been working at his dad's business since he was fired from the sheriff's office.
Shifflett took more than $19,000 from an evidence room at the sheriff's office between April 2009 and December 2011.
The special prosecutor on the case says this called for time in jail. "Judge Bouton heard the evidence. He decided to give him suspended time. The commonwealth felt he deserved active jail time but the judge saw otherwise," said Commonwealth's Attorney Claiborne Stokes.
Shifflett also made a statement before the sentencing was read, saying he was sorry and regretted what he had done. The judge called the offense a serious one, referring to it as an "ongoing arrangement," but he said he did think Shifflett's apology was sincere.
Shifflett began his career in Greene County in 1994, starting as a correctional officer and working his way up. Both the defense and the opposition said he had lost the trust and respect of the Greene County community.
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