May 17, 2013

Embezzler, arsonist sentencings postponed

BY LOHR McKINSTRY Press-Republican

---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — A woman who was about to be sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from a local business had her sentencing postponed Thursday after she disputed the amount of restitution.

Meagan M. Whitman, 29, of Mineville was in Essex County Court to be sentenced for felony fourth-degree grand larceny in a plea agreement that called for her to spend six months in the Essex County Jail and five years on probation.

She pleaded guilty in March, and after Thursday’s proceeding, County Judge Richard Meyer moved her sentencing to June 7.

The exact amount of restitution being sought was not released. Whitman had previously admitted to taking about $36,000, although District Attorney Kristy Sprague had said the full amount might be closer to $50,000.

Meyer said he will allow both sides to file documentation in the case and will rule on a figure before sentencing Whitman on June 7.

She is the former bookkeeper at Bryant’s Lumber of Moriah and has admitted to embezzling thousands of dollars from the family-owned business.

Whitman was arrested in March 2011 and has been free on her own recognizance. Meyer revoked that conditional release Thursday and imposed cash bail of $10,000 or bail bond of $20,000.

The Essex County Sheriff’s Department took Whitman into custody and transported her to the County Jail.

Whitman was represented by attorney Michael J. Muller of Glens Falls. Assistant District Attorney Brain Felton represented the prosecution.


Also postponed was sentencing for Joseph King, 44, of Port Henry, who pleaded guilty in March to felony third-degree arson and several misdemeanor charges as part of a plea agreement.

King caused more than $1 million damage to downtown Port Henry when he set several arson fires the night of Jan. 1, 2011. He was targeting his former employer, Mountain Lake Services.

Under a plea agreement, King will spend four to 12 years in state prison. That sentencing has been rescheduled for June 3.

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