Woman admits to cookie theft

Published 11:06 pm Saturday, October 3, 2009

Each year Girl Scout troops fan out across the country armed with boxes of Thin Mints, Samoans and peanut butter sandwich cookies.

Part of the money earned from cookie sales goes back to the troop to help pay for badges, camp fees and various scouting programs.

One South Point mother helped herself to some of her child’s cookie profits this spring and found herself answering for it Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

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Johnda S. Bailey, 33, of 1173 County Road 1, South Point, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of theft. Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced her to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and ordered her to pay no more than $2,481.59 in restitution.

Authorities said Bailey and her daughter were given boxes of cookies to sell. Bailey turned in part of the proceeds but kept some of the money. Che-Hona Miller, Ken-o-Valley membership manager for the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council, said her intent in having Bailey prosecuted was not to make anyone look bad, but to be a good steward of the organization’s resources and money earned by the girls who worked hard to sell those cookies.

“Every dollar someone owes takes away from the parents and the girls in the council,” Miller told Bowling.

When asked if she had anything to say, Bailey told Bowling she did not think she owed $2,481.59. She said she would provide necessary documentation to prove she only owed $1,356.

Bowling told Bailey she should make restitution her top priority.

“I will treat you the same as anyone else convicted of this crime,” Bowling told her. “If you do not pay restitution I will send you to prison.” He emphasized the word “will.”

Also Wednesday, Carl Holston, 42, of 906 Latonia St., Ironton, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of burglary. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Holston to 18 months in prison.

Holston was arrested last month after he was caught breaking into a neighbor’s house. Holston is a registered sex offender. Other neighbors called police after they saw him entering and leaving the victim’s home when the victim was away.

“I apologize for what I did,” Holston told Cooper. “That’s all I got to say. I apologize.”

In another case Wednesday, Justin Ramsey, 23, of 168 Township Road 337, Kitts Hill, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of theft.

Bowling sentenced him to four years CCS/ISP and ordered him to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

By pleading guilty on a bill of information, all three people admitted their guilt, bypassed a grand jury and a common pleas trial and proceeded with sentencing.