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Norwalk man punished in theft of $1,000 from credit union

By HEATHER CHAPIN-FOWLER • Jul 28, 2014 at 5:07 PM

A 41-year-old Norwalk man who stole more than $1,000 last year from the Firelands Credit Union was sentenced to a community-based correction facility during a recent hearing in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

Carlos Withrow Jr., 59 Glover Ave., pleaded guilty to a charge of forgery in exchange for the dismissal of four other counts of forgery as part of the plea agreement in May, according to court records.

The theft, which occurred in December 2013, was in connection to a family member who was also Withrow's employer. The court ordered Withrow to have no association with the man since the allegations initially came to light.

The family member, a victim in this case, was not at the hearing Wednesday, but his statement was taken in consideration as the Judge James Conway made the decision on an appropriate sentence.

Those no association orders remain in effect, according to a ruling by the judge.

The amount the court has charged Withrow with stealing is $1,400, but Withrow's attorney, John Allton, said that may not be accurate.

As far as the judge is concerned, if the amount isn't accurate, Withrow can take it up with the court at a later date, he said.

In addition to the forgery conviction, Withrow was also sentenced on an unrelated case of possession of heroin from a March case that Norwalk Police investigated, according to officials.

"My client admits to having a substantial substance abuse problem," Allton said.

A community-based correctional facility has already agreed to take Withrow in lieu of a prison stay. "We think that's an appropriate sentence in this case," Allton said.

The CBCF can hold Withrow up to six months or release him in as little as four months based on his progress and behavior at the facility, Conway said.

If Withrow violates the orders of the CBCF, he can be sentenced to serve prison time.

Withrow will be under intensive supervised probation when he is released from custody for a period up to three years, Conway said.

At the time of his release, he will be ordered as part of his probationary sanction to hold down full-time employment and submit to random drug-screening, Conway said.

In addition to the incarceration and rehabilitation efforts, Withrow will also have to pay $1,400 to the credit union, $40 to Norwalk Police for the laboratory testing on the heroin that was used in the case, $250 for his court-appointed attorney and $500 in fines, Conway said.

A payment plan will be set up as Withrow is released from incarceration.

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