ITHACA, N.Y. — A woman who was previously accused of stealing more than $4,ooo from an Ithaca dentistry was taken away from the courthouse in handcuffs Friday afternoon to begin serving an 8-month jail sentence.
Sheila Shattuck pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petit larceny, a drastic reduction from her original charges of third-degree grand larceny and 16 counts of first-degree falsifying business records.
In court, Assistant District Attorney Dan Johnson recommended a 1-year sentence for the charge.
“It’s disappointing, frankly, that we’re here on the misdemeanor charge,” he said. He noted Shattuck has a history of “theft and deceit,” lied to her employers at Fall Creek Dentistry and lied to the court on multiple occasions.
Shattuck’s attorney, Seth Peacock, said the prosecutor makes it seems as if his client got away with something. But the facts, Peacock said, shows that she pleaded guilty to the one crime she committed.
He said that directly before a trial, the prosecution dropped severe charges against Shattuck and offered the petit larceny plea deal.
“Judge, that’s significant,” Peacock said, because it indicated, to him, that the case against his client was weak.
Shattuck also spoke on her behalf during her sentencing.
“I was a single mother, so I was a little tied for money,” she said.
She cried as she apologized for her theft and said the entire situation has been embarrassing for herself and her children.
“I would like to be able to just work,” she said, asking the Judge Joseph Cassidy for probation instead of incarceration.
Cassidy said that even though she pleaded to a lesser misdemeanor charge, she’s committed at least six other offenses since 1990, all involving stealing or violating probation. He said that demonstrated that she should not be left unsupervised.
He sentenced her to eight months in jail for the offense.
Featured photo by Brian Turner of Flickr.