DOBSON — Paying back embezzled money helped a Siloam woman avoid incarceration after her conviction Tuesday in Superior Court.
The defendant, Dusty Schaub Wall, 42, of Quaker Church Road, was charged with a single count of embezzlement, a class H felony, following a June 2015 incident investigated by the Mount Airy Police Department.
Wall, whose criminal record includes a string of convictions in 2010 for forgery, larceny by employee and obtaining property by false pretense, was indicted with acquiring the status of a habitual felon in July.
According to the state’s summary of the evidence, a manager of McDonald’s on U.S. 52 in Mount Airy contacted the authorities with concern that a shift manager may have taken money from the business.
Surveillance video showed Wall taking two deposits from the restaurant’s safe, but the defendant only made one deposit at the bank.
Video surveillance from the bank confirmed that only one transaction, of about $800 was made. A second deposit of $3,102.25 never made it into the restaurant’s account.
Bank employees also told authorities that Wall had discussed personal financial troubles while making the transaction.
Investigators subsequently discovered the defendant had made a car payment and fees of about $2,000 that day.
Wall confessed to the crime when questioned.
District Attorney Ricky Bowman, representing the state during the hearing, told Presiding Judge Moses Massey he generally believes that those convicted of stealing should serve active time but that the victim should also be considered.
“He was satisfied with the resolution,” said Bowman, also adding that Wall essentially “assisted in her own conviction” and came to court with full restitution.
“That said, the state feels she should serve some time,” the district attorney said.
Defense Attorney Charles Briggs said he agreed with many of Bowman’s points and noted that his client also had a frequently hospitalized child adding to her financial woes around the time of the offense.
“Things add up to people and temptation rears its ugly head,” Briggs said. “To her credit she confessed,” and didn’t try to drag out the case any longer.
“She wanted to get it over with,” he said. “She felt bad about what she had done.”
Judge Massey accepted the plea and gave Wall a suspended 10- to 21-month sentence, placed her on supervised probation for 36 months and ordered her to serve 20 days in the Surry County Jail within 180 days on a schedule determined by her probation officer.
Massey said that Wall appearing in court ready to immediately pay full restitution “speaks volumes,” and that it’s very seldom that defendants are able and willing to do so.
The judge told the defendant that while he felt compassion for her financial troubles, “it doesn’t justify what you did.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.