ITHACA, N.Y. — Despite having a history of theft-related crimes, a woman received a three-year probation sentence for lying to a court with forged documents.
Sheila Shattuck was recently released from an eight-month jail sentence for stealing nearly $5,000 from her previous employer, an Ithaca Dentist in Fall Creek. In addition to this, Shattuck has failed to appear in court more than once and pleaded guilty to two counts of false instrument and forgery.
District Attorney Dan Johnson said that her behavior is due to the fact that her “first impulse is to find the easiest way out.”
“Ms. Shattuck is a liar. She’s a thief. She’s a repeat offender, your honor,” he said, adding that he is also concerned with her employment or potential employment as a home healthcare provider, working with vulnerable people.
He recommended her sentence involve at least a year of prison time.
Shattuck’s lawyer Max Brown said she is receiving counselling for her past crimes and that Shattuck has had time for self-reflection in jail. He said she was “someone who wants to change, wants to move on and become a very different person.”
“I take heart in a statement like that,” he said.
Brown said he thought probation was an appropriate punishment because of her will to change and because of the possible negative impact a jail sentence would have on her family. Shattuck is a mother of three.
Judge Joseph Cassidy said he does not trust her ability to meet the requirements of probation due to her previous failures to appear in court.
“You have shown yourself not to be trustworthy at all,” Cassidy said.
Despite this, he sentenced her to 3 years of probation, which will be resentenced if Shattuck fails to meet the requirements of the sentence.
“I’m certain your highly aware of that,” he said.