By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Four of 56 charges against a Ripplemead man will be taken under advisement for a year to monitor his behavior and payment of nearly $8,000 in restitution to his victims.
The 56 charges filed against Thomas Bryant Kinder II, 22, included larceny, fraud, embezzlement and forgery. According to statements made in court Thursday, Kinder’s actions stemmed from a need to fund a drug habit he no longer has.
Kinder pleaded guilty to two felony counts of grand larceny and fraud and two misdemeanor counts of petit larceny and selling property under false pretenses.
As long as he pays restitution, keeps the peace and is of good behavior, the felonies will be reduced to misdemeanor petit larcenies and he will receive 12-month suspended sentences on each of the four convictions.
If he doesn’t comply, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. said Kinder will be convicted of two felonies and two misdemeanors and will be sentenced as such. The agreement does not specify a sentence if Kinder fails to comply with the court’s orders.
“You’ve got a pretty darn good deal here. I hope you take advantage of it,” Judge Long told Kinder. “I hope your drug problems have been resolved.”
According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Travis Epps, Kinder stole or defrauded an employer out of about $7,300. He was working on a farm at the time.
Epps said Kinder had permission to purchase certain items for the farm on an employer credit card, but Kinder started using the card for unauthorized transactions. In one case, he said, Kinder stole a portion of money paid in a transaction involving sheep.
Kinder also pleaded guilty to stealing a chainsaw from another victim and to fraudulently converting ownership of a leased tool set ($259 value) to his own possession, according to Epps. Finally, Kinder pleaded guilty to fraudulently selling stolen property to a Pulaski pawnshop.
Restitution ordered by the judge totaled $7,901.
Epps said defendant’s former employer still holds Kinder “in high regards,” recognizing his actions stemmed from the former drug habit.
The victims were supportive of the plea agreement, according to Epps.