Two individuals with active warrants appeared in Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday, with one being placed on house arrest and the second electing to serve time in jail.
Rhonda McGraw, 32, of Hillsboro, and Jeremy S. Pinkerton, 31, of New Vienna, both appeared after a theft investigation on Thursday determined that both had active warrants for their arrest.
According to an affidavit filed with the court, a female, later identified as McGraw, allegedly concealed merchandise in her purse while at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), and then left on a motorcycle driven by a male, who was later identified as Pinkerton.
The license plate number was acquired, and an officer later observed the motorcycle near North High Street and Collins Avenue. At that time, he executed a traffic stop.
While the officer exited the vehicle, McGraw attempted to conceal a large a purse under a pickup truck, according to the report. When Pinkerton was asked for his license, he said he did not have one and that he also did not have a motorcycle endorsement.
The officer then retrieved the purse. At that time, McGraw said that “certain stuff from her purse was stolen from TSC,” according to the affidavit. She then said that Pinkerton did not have anything to do with the theft.
On Friday, Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna said a warrant had been issued for McGraw’s arrest on Wednesday when she had failed to appear for a case involving an unauthorized use of property charge.
The incident on Thursday led to two new charges, the first for first-degree misdemeanor theft, and the second for second-degree misdemeanor possession of drug abuse instruments.
McGraw pled not guilty to the charges.
When asked why she had not appeared in court on Wednesday, she said, “I lost my job … I was just scared. I’ve never been in jail in my life.”
When asked if she would pass a drug test, McGraw said, “Maybe.” She added that she had recently had a relapse with heroin.
She said that she had also not completed community service ordered from previous convictions.
McGraw was placed on electronic monitoring house arrest. She is to enroll in substance abuse counseling immediately. She is also prohibited from driving and from having contact with Pinkerton.
A pretrial for her case was scheduled for Aug. 15.
As a result of Thursday’s incident, Pinkerton was cited for driving on a suspended license, an unclassified misdemeanor. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he had failed to appear in court in April concerning a theft charge.
He pled no contest and was found guilty of the citation.
This charge represented a probation violation. When asked why he had been unable to show up for court, he said it was difficult for him to get to there from Clinton County. He also said he’d had a hard time getting to the probation office and to FRS for counseling.
“I guess we’ll just have to take you off of probation,” McKenna said.
“Just give me the days,” Pinkerton said, before walking back to where the other inmates were waiting for their cases. McKenna said that Pinkerton was not yet finished and that Pinkerton needed to return to the bench.
Pinkerton will have to serve 160 days on the probation violation.
On the new charge, a $1,000 fine was suspended. In addition, McKenna said court costs would be “added to the stack” Pinkerton had accumulated.
Pinkerton will also have to complete 200 hours of community service, which will be suspended on the condition that he stay out of the county. If he comes back to Highland County, McKenna said, he would have to “start taking responsibility for the pile of stuff (he’s) left behind.”
In other cases, Tricia McKibben, 22, of Leesburg, pled guilty to first-degree misdemeanor theft.
According to an affidavit, McKibben had taken a shirt from Dollar General in Leesburg. A photo of the suspect, later identified as McKibben, had been posted on Facebook in the hope of finding the shoplifter.
When McKibben’s boyfriend had seen the post, he had gone to Dollar General where he began “acting disorderly,” the affidavit states. Her boyfriend told law enforcement that McKibben had not stolen from the store.
Following an investigation and questioning, McKibben said she had taken a t-shirt from Dollar General. When asked why she had stolen it, McKibben said that she “lives paycheck to paycheck and wanted something nice to wear,” according to the affidavit.
On Friday, McKibben told the court, “I was being ignorant.” She added that she had made a mistake.
“That’s not a mistake,” McKenna said. “That’s committing a crime.”
McKenna also said that her boyfriend’s actions “over a lie (she’d) told him,” could have led to him being charged with “disorderly conduct in the least.”
“You could have told (your boyfriend) the truth … or you could have gone into the store and said, ‘Yeah, I’m the one stole that property.’”
Her case was scheduled for a deferred sentence on Nov. 3. She is to have no contact with Dollar General, and must complete a theft class, pay restitution, and complete 40 hours of community service.
When asked how much the shirt had cost, McKibben said it had been $6.
“I hope you think it was worth it,” McKenna said. “I’m sorry to hear that you have financial problems, but that doesn’t give you the right to steal.”
Also on Friday, Herman B. Quarles, 30, of Lynchburg, pled not guilty to second-degree misdemeanor attempted purchase of nine or more grams of pseudoephedrine within 30 days. A pretrial was scheduled for Aug. 27.
He was found guilty of a probation violation from a previous pseudoephedrine charge. Quarles is in jail until Nov. 1, according to court records.
Also appearing for attempted illegal purchase of pseuedoephedrine was Jerry D. Hodge Jr., 19, of Greenfield. On Friday, he entered into a plea agreement.
He told the court that he would be starting a job on Saturday and that he was planning on returning to high school. Hodge also said he had been addicted to drugs for about a year.
A $750 fine was suspended, as were 90 days in jail. Hodge was placed on reporting probation, on the conditions that he have no contact with Walgreen or Walmart, obtain FRS counseling, observe a 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew, and complete school.
McKenna added that Hodge should “set an example for (his younger sister) so that she doesn’t turn into a heroin or meth addict herself.”
Finally, Rachelle Miller, 28, of Hillsboro, entered into a plea agreement in which a driving under suspension charge was amended to driving without a license.
McKenna said that Miller had about a year and a half in suspended jail sentences, on charges which included theft and receiving stolen property.
Miller said, “I’m trying to get back on my feet.” She added that she had a drug problem.
“You’ve got a stealing problem, too,” McKenna said. “We’ve all got faults … it’s what we do with them that makes us a person.”
Miller was released on reporting probation. She will receive 35 days jail time credit, leaving 115 days still to serve on this charge as a probation violation.
She is to return to court on Oct. 6.
“What you do – not what you say you’re going to do, or what you hope you’re going to do, or what you promise you’re going to do – might talk me out of that,” McKenna said.
Sarah Allen may be reached at 937-402-2571 or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.