A Greencastle woman was convicted in Putnam County Circuit Court of Class D felony theft Thursday and released with time served.
Kelsey N. Patterson, 21, was originally arrested in April 2008 for making over $1,200 worth of unauthorized charges on a credit card belonging to her mother, Mary Patterson, as well as writing over $400 in forged checks off Mary Patterson's account.
Judge Matthew Headley sentenced Patterson to the maximum three years, suspending all but the 227 days Patterson had already been in jail. She will spend the remainder of her sentence on probation.
Putnam County Deputy Prosecutor James Hanner dismissed the charges against Patterson in June 2008 when Patterson told him she was planning on enlisting in the armed services. When that didn't come to pass, Hanner re-filed the charges. Patterson was arrested on Oct. 30.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, two counts of Class C felony forgery and an additional count of Class D felony theft against Patterson were dropped.
In court Thursday, Patterson blamed her criminal actions on substance abuse problems. She said she had been addicted to marijuana, methamphetamine and prescription painkillers.
On the stand, Mary Patterson said she would allow her daughter to live with her in her Greencastle home after her release from jail "as long as she stays clean and sober."
Hanner asked Mary Patterson if she believed her daughter was serious about straightening out her life.
"I believe so, but time will tell," she said.
Hanner said Patterson's substance abuse "goes a long way toward explaining her behavior."
Mary Patterson said she had called a recruiter and asked about the possibility of her daughter joining the military.
"They're not taking anybody with any kind of criminal history," Mary Patterson said.
Mary Patterson asked the court for lenience in sentencing, "Not for her, but for me." She described herself as "emotionally and financially bankrupt."
Putnam County Probation Officer Theresa Parrish said she believed Patterson was "willing to work a program," and that she "would be monitoring her very closely as far as drug screens."
Although Mary Patterson was reimbursed by her bank and credit card company, Headley ordered Kelsey Patterson to pay restitution to those companies. He also ordered her to pay court costs, fines and probation user fees, as well as to perform 48 hours of community service during her time on probation.
"You have a lot of money to pay back," Headley said. "I expect you to get a job. This is all on your shoulders. Hopefully you won't go out tonight or this weekend and return to your old habits."