Created on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 Written by NATE SMITH
The victim of a scheme to rob her of her purse told one of the perpetrators what she thought of his actions Monday before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor sentenced him to more than two-and-a-half years in prison.
Thomas Risner, 24, of Harrod, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for charges of theft, a fifth-degree felony, and complicity to commit burglary, a third-degree felony.
The charges come from separate cases that date back to last year. He pleaded guilty to theft from a rural Bellefontaine home in September 2012 and was supposed to be sentenced on the charge last October.
The defendant failed to appear for that hearing, and that was right around the time he was working with a female accomplice to commit the second crime for which he’s charged.
Mr. Risner and a female defendant, Lindsay Collingsworth, worked together to manipulate and distract Phyllis Stall from her Indian Lake-area residence while the female defendant stole Mrs. Stall’s purse.
“I trusted those kids when they told me they needed help,” Mrs. Stall told the court.
The defendants approached Mrs. Stall separately claiming they needed assistance. Ms. Collingsworth asked to use the victim’s telephone, and at one point Mr. Risner sought a ride on her golf cart.
“I told him while he was on my golf cart that if my kids needed help I hoped somebody would care enough to help them,” she said.
After going back inside her residence, Mrs. Stall noticed her purse was missing. She immediately went back after the defendant. She caught up with him on her golf cart, whipped him around, “and I saw some of my things fall from his pocket,” Mrs. Stall said.
“I think about the shame he’s brought on his parents,” she said. “This deserves more than just a slap on the wrist.”
Judge O’Connor ordered consecutive sentences, because the defendant committed the second crime while on bond in the first case. Mr. Risner was sentenced to eight months for theft and 24 months for complicity to burglarize Ms. Stall’s home.
“I want to apologize to Mrs. Stall,” Mr. Risner said before the judge passed sentence. “You didn’t deserve to have that happen to you.”
Mr. Risner must pay a combined $238.50 in restitution from both cases and must also pay court costs.
Mrs. Stall noted for the court her satisfaction with both Logan County Sheriff’s deputies and the work of the victim’s advocate in the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office for keeping her updated on the progress of the case.
“They were great about letting me know what was happening in the case,” she said.
Judge O’Connor also denied a furlough request for Mr. Risner.
“The last time he was let out with instructions to appear, he failed to do so,” the judge said.