• 46°

Coal Grove couple will repay church

A Coal Grove cou’ple convicted of taking money from First United Methodist Church in Ironton must repay the missing cash and serve three years probation.

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

A Coal Grove cou’ple convicted of taking money from First United Methodist Church in Ironton must repay the missing cash and serve three years probation.

Barbara Harper, 45, 413 High St., Coal Grove, was sentenced Tuesday by visiting Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett Burton to pay $40,423.20 restitution to First United Methodist Church, Lawrence County prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. said.

Burton also ordered Mrs. Harper to serve three years of community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation and to pay court costs.

Mrs. Harper pleaded guilty Nov. 10 to a September indictment charging her with grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, and complicity to theft, a fifth-degree felony, Collier said.

James Harper, 413 High St., Coal Grove, also pleaded guilty to an amended indictment charge of receiving stolen property, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Tuesday, Burton ordered him to repay $4,272.69 and sentenced him to six months in jail, which was suspended to three years probation, Collier said.

According to the indictments, the couple knowingly deprived the church of monetary assets between 1995 and April 1999.

Mrs. Harper was church secretary, and wrote checks on church accounts to herself and her husband during those years, said Mack Anderson, assistant county prosecutor.