A Norwalk man pleaded guilty Tuesday to separate forgery and heroin crimes.
Carlos L. Withrow Jr., 41, of Norwalk, was convicted of one count each of forgery and possession of heroin. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed four other charges of forgery and Withrow agreed to pay $1,800 in restitution to the victim, his uncle and one-time employer.
"There might be credit against that $1,800. The state will make that available at the time of sentencing," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said, referring to money the employer might recover.
The forgery conviction is for an Oct. 14 incident.
"Mr. Withrow essentially took a check from his employer, a relative," Kasper said. "The employer thought it was his nephew, Mr. Withrow."
The stolen checks were cashed at a local grocery store.
"The checks were made out to Mr. Withrow and he signed the account holder's signature," Kasper said. "He said he had a drug problem and he needed money."
The defendant earlier told the court he was fired from his job of 20 years after he "got into trouble."
Withrow's heroin conviction is for a Feb. 4 incident when the Norwalk Police Department used a search warrant at his home. Kasper said officers found heroin-related paraphernalia, some needles and .006 grams of heroin in Withrow's bedroom.
The defendant was in court Tuesday for a hearing about intervention in lieu of being convicted.
However, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said based on Withrow's "significant misdemeanor record," which includes violent offenses, he believed it's not appropriate for him to be accepted into the program. Had Withrow been accepted, he would have been placed on probation and if he successfully completed a certified substance abuse program, he wouldn't have a conviction on his record. Conway said as a result of his decision, Kasper and defense attorney John Allton made a plea agreement.
Withrow, who earlier posted a $5,000 bond, is prohibited from having any association with the forgery victim. He will be sentenced July 16.
Kasper said another part of the plea was the state would recommend Withrow spend four to six months in a community-based corrections facility, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.