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Trial date set for Fenwick

Friday, October 2, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- A trial date has been set for a Greencastle woman accused of stealing more than $200,000 from a church where she worked part-time as an administrative and financial secretary.

Melynda J. "Mindy" Fenwick, 37, was arrested on Aug. 11 and charged with six counts of Class C felony forgery and five counts of Class D felony theft in connection with incidents that are alleged to have happened over a period of several years at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church in Greencastle.

Judge Matthew Headley set Fenwick's trial for Jan. 27 and a final pretrial conference for Jan. 7.

At a pretrial conference in Putnam County Circuit Court Thursday, Fenwick's attorney James Ensley made reference to "ongoing negotiations" with the prosecutor's office.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter clarified that no real negotiations had -- or would -- take place.

"There have not been any plea offers, and there aren't going to be any," he said.

The state requested that Fenwick's employment records from Old National Bank, where she worked before being hired at Gobin, he subpoenaed. Headley and Ensely argued that those records would have no relevance in the current case against Fenwick.

"I can't say for sure what the relevance might be; we just need them to confirm something we've been told," said Deputy Prosector Justin Long. "I think it will be relevant if it pans out the way we think it will."

Ensley said if the state's reason for wanting the ONB records was to file further charges, that was something he should have known about.

"I don't see how (the ONB records) pertain at all," he said.

Headley agreed with Ensley.

"Your request is denied," he told Long. "You haven't showed me anything yet."

Fenwick had worked at Gobin since 2004, and allegedly began stealing from the church less than a year later. The last of the alleged thefts occurred the day before her arrest on Aug. 11.

Fenwick will remain out of jail on the 10 percent of a $30,000 that was posted for her by a family member on Aug. 14.

The Gobin thefts were discovered when church officials found major discrepancies and what appeared to be doctored bank statements when conducting an audit of the church's books.

According to court documents, Fenwick admitted to writing as many as 100 checks to herself off Gobin's account, as well as to forging signatures on those checks. She also produced a flash drive on which she saved the bank statements she falsified, an affidavit of probable cause said.

Currently, the amount of money Fenwick is accused of stealing from Gobin is $274,000, although an investigation is ongoing and that total is likely to rise.

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Hope it was worth it. She didn't only screw up her life but her family's lives also.

-- Posted by Sand mann on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 8:09 AM

Was Ms. Fenwick a friend of Cynthia Pienta and Tammy Mitchener? Seems like that have their own "little criminal gang".

We needed to sentence Ms. Pienta for a longer term, then maybe Tammy Mitchener would not have repeated the crime at Old National Trail.

If we keep giving these criminals short-term sentences, crime will keep going on.

-- Posted by Taxpayer5253 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 8:53 AM

this is really sad! how could you steal money from a church..? what has the world come to. There is really something wrong with her if she is going to steal money from a church! come on people stop being lazy! its called J-O-B!!!! GO get one and grow up! you should feel horrible..And i feel sorry for the kids. Everyone at school can read this..your kids must be proud.

-- Posted by januarybabii90 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 8:57 AM

Stealing is stealing ! from a church or other wise.

I don't think a JOB was the reason.

She is a thief.


Bet she wanted to KEEP UP WITH THE JONES, as the saying goes.


-- Posted by Sand mann on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 9:24 AM

OUR FAMILY IS TAKING THIS HARD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!! YOU KNOW WHAT IS WORST??? WHEN PEOPLE MAKE DUMB COMMENTS STATING "I FEEL SORRY FOR THEM", "HOW SAD IS SHE"? "THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER!" "Everyone at school can read this..your kids must be proud" That is what makes this whole situation more difficult. People of GREENCASTLE need to worry more about thier own problems, and not others. LET the events take thier course, and not make it anymore difficult than it is.

-- Posted by putnamnative123 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 9:34 AM

I'm sure your family is taking it hard but she broke the law for over 4 years and didn't stop to think about the other people that she was hurting such as the church and the people who gave that money for the church - not for you!!

-- Posted by Concerned09 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 10:15 AM


-- Posted by Michele1953 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 10:45 AM

I bet she gets more jail time than Tammy Mitchener.

-- Posted by YNOTU2 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 12:34 PM

Putnamnative 123...I have a couple of comments about your remarks. You are right, I have no idea how hard it is, because this (stealing) is not how obtain money. But, this type of crime affects everyone in the area....so it is their problem. Thieves cost everyone money. Not only did this thief steal from a CHURCH, now she is costing the taxpayers for the criminal justice system....the legal system, and clothing and food should she be sent to prison. So....you see....this is everyone's problem to deal with. It seems like you are using a similar excuse...placing blame for it on someone else by saying "LET the events take thier (sic) course, and not make it anymore difficult than it is". Reality check here Putnamnative...people have the right to freedom of speech. It is not the responsibility of the public to make life easier for criminals.

-- Posted by ExHoosier on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 1:09 PM

Wow is right! Why are people so quick to hurt other people with their remarks about someones problems or mistakes? Do you really believe her children should pay for her mistakes? They do everytime someone makes negative remarks about their mom! I'm not saying what happened was right & when you mess up you have to pay, just try to have a little bit of concern for the family! This is not the only article I'm talking about, so many times people are quick to judge when they probably have things they have done wrong that they wouldn't want anyone to know about!!!!!! Please try to be more considerate of the innocent people involved! I was just wondering why it matters if she is related to the sheriff, he didn't commit the crime...so don't judge him by what somebody else does just because he might or might not be related to them!

-- Posted by reader55 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 1:34 PM

@Bondsman: "Is this the new liberal values?" If you are somehow referring to the recent changes in Washington, perhaps you need to consult either a contemporary history book or, better yet, a calendar. Liberal values? What constitutes "liberal" for you, the GOP? I ask this because if you hadn't noticed the details of this affair, G.W. Bush was President of the United States for 4/5 of the time Mindy Fenwick was funneling money out of Gobin into her personal checking account. Define "liberal" and then see if her case fits your definition.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 3:28 PM

reader55 ,

she should of thought about it before she did what she did.this made the paper, and people will read it . comments negitive or positive sorry about their luck.

Do you think she cared about hurting people when STEALING the money, I think NOT . if she didn't do this crime there would not be comments toward her or the family. most comments about the family was feeling sorry for them.

Hope she gets the max on punishment!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 3:55 PM

for the bleeding hearts , She will need commissary money!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 3:57 PM

"Commissary Money" - I guess her family can do! She said she did all this to support her family, I guess it will be there time to support her!

-- Posted by Concerned09 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 4:24 PM

I hope that the punishment is appropriate and that everyone leaves her and her family alone

-- Posted by talkymom3 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 4:35 PM

What difference would it make if she was related to The Sheriff. She is responsible for her own actions. It should not reflect on her family or anyone who shares the same name as she has.

-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 9:39 PM

bondsman, I don't think it is the water. It is more likely simple temptation, and trust. These women recently in the news for stealing were trusted in their positions to the point (obviously) their employers would not believe the thefts could happen.

The temptation to take advantage of that trust is evidently overwhelming. These positions are probably being checked and double checked from now on.(The lure of easy money has a very strong appeal.)

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Oct 3, 2009, at 7:46 AM

victory04, Sorry about whose luck? her kids ? They did nothing wrong & yes their were alot of kind comments to the family. Yours however was not one of them. To say sorry about your luck was not kind!!!! I believe she should be punished for what she did! I'm talking about making insinuations toward the Sheriff & rude remarks toward families of people who commit crimes...just leave the innocent alone. Is that too much to ask? Don't worry I'm sure she will be punished & by the way she is not a Fenwick by blood,just by marriage!(michele1953)

-- Posted by reader55 on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 10:45 PM

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