Fenwick's bond set at $30K

Friday, August 14, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Despite the state's objection, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley on Thursday set bond for a woman accused of stealing over $200,000 from a Greencastle church at $30,000 with 10 percent allowed.

Melynda J. "Mindy" Fenwick, 37, of Greencastle was 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 the past several years at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

Fenwick had worked part-time at Gobin since 2004 as an administrative and financial secretary. The alleged thefts occurred between January 2005 and August 2009.

Fenwick appeared in court Thursday accompanied by her attorney James Ensley. Fenwick entered not guilty pleas to all charges.

In a typical case involving a Class C felony in which the suspect is a local person, bond is set at $30,000 with 10 percent allowed. Due to circumstances of the case, however, the state was not comfortable with those terms.

"Working with this many counts, we recommend $30,000 cash only," Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long said.

Ensley countered that his client was a lifetime Putnam County resident who had lived at the same address for seven years. He pointed out that Fenwick's family members are all local, and that several people live in her household -- many of them minor children she is responsible for the care of.

"All my ties are in the Putnam County community," Fenwick said.

In the end, Headley chose to allow the lower bond for Fenwick, noting that the state "has shown me no reason she'd be a flight risk."

Headley told Fenwick that should the bond be posted for her, she would have to surrender her passport to the court. He also issued a no-contact order for Gobin, telling Fenwick that she could have no written or verbal contact with anyone affiliated with the church and was not to have anyone besides her lawyer do it for her.

Fenwick is accused of stealing about $274,000 from Gobin. The alleged thefts were uncovered earlier this week when church officials discovered major discrepancies and what appeared to be doctored bank statements during an audit of the church's books.

Court documents said Fenwick admitted to issuing as many as 100 checks to herself off a church account, as well as to forging signatures on those checks.

She also admitted to falsifying bank documents, court records said.

Gobin plans to hire an independent auditor or accounting firm to investigate the thefts further and to put a plan in place to prevent future incidences of theft.

Headley set a pretrial conference for Fenwick for Oct. 1 at 11 a.m.

View 21 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Mindy I love you and your family.

    -- Posted by jam on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 7:38 AM
  • Stealing is wrong. It's that simple. No excuses. Now suffer the consequences for your actions. Period.

    -- Posted by just a local on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 7:51 AM
  • smaller_gov_now..not that she doesn't deserve to be punished, but anyone would plead "not guilty" first so that they can work with the prosecutor and take a plea agreement later. No one in their right mind would plead guilty right away.

    -- Posted by putnammom on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 8:41 AM
  • Does everyone in Putnam County STEAL. It would be nice to see something on the news about Putnam County that wasn't BAD.

    -- Posted by moo on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 9:14 AM
  • The judge automatically entered a not guilty plea. We have the best justice system in the world though it does have its faults. Let the system work as it should.

    -- Posted by hardtobelieve on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 11:07 AM
  • Just curious, mind you, but how much do you have to steal over a span of time to be charged with a Class A or B felony?

    -- Posted by whatsup on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 1:47 PM
  • There is no enhancement to a B or an A felony for theft. Theft is D felony enhanced to a C after it reaches a certain dollar amount which this case apparently did.

    -- Posted by hardtobelieve on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 2:28 PM
  • I agree let the system work. However if your sin free go ahead and cast the first stone, just hope it doesn't bounce back at yourself.

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 3:19 PM
  • What kind of an example are u being for your kids mindy hu??????

    -- Posted by Billy_dog94 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 5:16 PM
  • bondsman has the right idea; She admitted to police that she had written over 100 checks to herself -- How does that not constitute individual charges? Yet again another putnam co. criminal with a mugshot that shows she's not scared of our circuit courts.

    -- Posted by PutGrad06 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 5:21 PM
  • I think this is terrible. I wander if the big head stone was bought with this money? The things that goes on in this town, such as lying,cheating,and being sneaking about things,thinking the people will not find out about it. Well we all will find out sooner or later..Good luck, you will need it.

    -- Posted by cping47 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 7:42 PM
  • My father taught me that if you do not have the cash to pay for it you should save up until you do. I live in Putnam County, I have an OK job yet my house is paid for, my car is paid for; no credit cards, no debt! because I LIVE WITHIN MY MEANS!!! Don't worry about keeping up with the "Jone's" God helps those who help themselves! MIndy....I guess you got that a little mixed up!

    -- Posted by localjoe on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 9:23 PM
  • What a shock. Tonight, I went to the wishtv website to check the weather and find Mindy as the top news story! I must say that this is the last person on EARTH I could imagine breaking the law.

    I have not seen her in many years, and did not know her very well but she was always such a good role model. She was always so responsible and she had given so much the community.

    This is very sad indeed. I wonder if she hit rock bottom. I know as humans, we are capable of inconceivable things if we hit rock bottom.

    I pray that she finds her way. Very sad!

    -- Posted by jegamat814 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 10:14 PM
  • I am sad, heart broken and hurt for this lady. I think she like so many others never started as a thief, but borrowing $1.00 and planning on paying it back, lead to a path to where she started taking more and then it just got out of hand. This is like so many things that people are deceived by. One drink of alcohol in a person has no idea that in a few years they will be addicted to the drink that started out as fun. An innocent conversation at work leads down a path to adultery. One charge on a credit card that you plan to pay back, leads to debt that is out of control. Hurtful words spoken to your spouse (that you didn't really mean) leads to a marriage destroyed. The words that come out of our mouth (gossip) leads to lives being damaged. In a hurry on the Interstate because we weren't prepared, leads to an accident...that takes the lives of others. There is an enemy out there that makes everything looks so good in the beginning, but it path leads to destruction and in return affects the lives of so many.

    Restitution will need to be paid in her case and should be. There will also be many consequences do to her actions and it will effect the lives of so many.

    When we hear stories like this, I believe it is a time for us to take a good look at our lives and see where we are being deceived too. What are we doing that is leading down a path of destruction?

    Also, how can we show love to her family that will have to deal with the consequences. And help the institution that was the victim.

    -- Posted by withpassion on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 10:34 PM
  • It is sad that Ms Fenwick will be treated more harshly than those who went before her. She does not have a son heavily involved in politics and she will pay not only for her crime but for the complaints about treatment of those who broke the same laws before her. She deserves to be punished for HER mistakes, not anyone else's

    -- Posted by talkymom3 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 10:54 PM
  • Iknow mindy very well. And i never thought this of her,but on the other hand she did wrong,no matter who or how good she was. She will have to pay for what she did,and not anyone before her. She still did wrong,and if anyone of us here in greencastle did the same,we would also be in trouble.AM I WRONG? I don`t think so.

    -- Posted by cping47 on Sat, Aug 15, 2009, at 3:58 AM
  • So sad to see this happen. However, there are laws and we are not to break them. Those that do so HAVE to face consequences. I think when businesses have one individual handling their finances or accounts, there's bound to be problems. If this church did have more than one, why didn't anyone pay attention to this before 100 checks were written? So in 4 years, she was able to forge signatures and falsify bank documents that no one else could see? That's putting too much faith and trust in an administrative and financial SECRETARY and giving any one person entirely too much access. Unless she owned the place, soneone else should have been responsible to check these records as well. Everyone knows that money does strange things to people and having no one checking the figures, even just as a double-check, they should have expected something to happen sooner or later. She was so wrong to do this but I can't understand how in the world this went on for over 4 years and was just caught. How often are these audits done, every 5 years?

    -- Posted by bannerstuff on Sun, Aug 16, 2009, at 10:39 PM
  • Theft of this proportion is always sad,but she aleadgly stole from hard working church folks only tring to make their lives better,maybe she should be judged by the members of the church.

    -- Posted by obeone on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 8:34 AM
  • well it was the churches fault for not looking at the books so they should not judge her at all

    -- Posted by rodeo2010 on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 11:04 AM
  • do u think that her family is try there best

    -- Posted by rodeo2010 on Wed, Aug 19, 2009, at 10:35 AM
  • Stealing from a Church??? How Low is THAT??? Contemplate your Sins in Jail!!

    -- Posted by Afghan Contractor on Sat, Aug 22, 2009, at 6:32 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: