A Terre Haute man convicted of theft was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Steven L. Perry, 42, pled guilty to one Class D felony count of theft. In exchange for that plea, charges of Class C felony forgery and Class D felony prescription fraud were dismissed.
Perry's charges stemmed from 2001 incidents in which he wrote and purchased prescriptions using pads stolen from a dentist's office and used stolen, forged checks from his parents' account to pay for goods and services at Greencastle businesses.
Court documents said Perry fled after being confronted by his father about the check theft.
Judge Matthew Headley actually sentenced Perry to the maximum three years he was allowed to hand down, but ordered that 18 months of the sentence be served on probation. Perry will receive credit for 65 days served. He was arrested on Aug. 7 and posted 10 percent of a $20,000 bond in October.
Melinda Jackman-Hanlin, Perry's court-appointed attorney, lobbied for probation for her client. Perry said his wife worked at a convenience store and that he drew disability benefits, and that if his income were lost it would create a hardship on his wife and the two children the Perrys are raising at home.
After Perry's extensive criminal history was laid out in court, Headley said in his estimation Perry had been given many, many chances and had never been able to straighten himself out.
Perry has charges of Class D felony strangulation and domestic battery in the presence of a child and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime pending against him in Vigo County.
Perry's criminal history dates back to the mid-1980s and includes convictions for felony fraud, felony theft (four counts), misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, misdemeanor invasion of privacy and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (for which he violated his probation several times). Perry has been arrested in Indiana, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.
Perry told the court all his brushes with the law were a result of his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
"You are not 20 or 25 years old," Headley said. "You are 42. You say your kids need a parent, but they need a sober parent."