Pregnant jewel thief violates probation by leaving Ohio

Cary Ashby • Sep 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM

A pregnant woman convicted of stealing about a couple thousand dollars' worth of jewelry had her bond revoked Monday.

Plymouth resident Michelle S. Harman, 23, admitted there was probable cause she violated the terms of her probation.

"She's been out of state for quite some time. ... She wasn't supposed to leave the state of Ohio," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.

Leffler also said his office had received information Harman had been in "some legal trouble in the state of Idaho." The prosecutor didn't elaborate.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo said he didn't want to disclose the entire situation in open court, but said Harman left the state "out of fear" and spent time with relatives in Idaho. Longo also said his client's supposed fear also is why she can't be placed in the general population in the Huron County Jail.

Longo recommended Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway consider placing Harman on house arrest. The public defender said Harman would be living with her mother, a local resident, if she were released from jail.

In May 2010, Harman pleaded guilty to stealing about $3,000 worth of jewelry from her mother.

She later apologized to her mother, stepfather and the court for what Longo referred to as a "crime of opportunity."

As part of her three years of probation for the receiving stolen property conviction, Harman was ordered to pay $250 in restitution and was fined an additional $250. Conway also ordered Harman to complete the court's substance abuse treatment program. Commonly known as "drug court," the program takes defendants about 18 months to complete and requires one year of sobriety.

"She needs some serious counseling," her mother said in September 2010.

"I'm trying to change and make a difference in my life. ... I haven't touched drugs in a long, long time," Harman said three years ago.

Her next hearing is Sept. 16. Harman faces one year in prison.

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