PARIS — A judge ordered a Peru woman to pay $25,000 in restitution after she pleaded guilty to stealing from her mother.
Barbara J. Kennison, 52, of 59 Main St., pleaded guilty on Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court to one count of theft. The plea dismissed a charge of forgery.
Justice Robert Clifford accepted a plea agreement, sentencing Kennison to serve 30 days of a three-year prison sentence with three years of probation. In addition to the restitution, Kennison must not use or possess illegal drugs, submit to random searches, and undergo a substance-abuse evaluation and counseling.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said Kennison's brother, who has power of attorney for his mother, discovered that his mother's bank accounts were drained and her credit cards had been used extensively. He made a complaint to Sgt. Roy Hodsdon of the Mexico Police Department, who said Kennison admitted to taking money from the accounts to support a cocaine addiction.
Beauchesne said the theft strongly affected the relationship between Kennison and her mother, and that her mother attempted suicide after the theft.
“These proceedings have, of course, brought grief to the mother of these two people,” he said.
Kennison was charged with taking money between February and May of last year. Beauchesne said the scope of the theft may have been greater if a longer time frame had been analyzed.
Defense lawyer Maurice Porter said he had financial records related to another period of time and did not think there was sufficient evidence to support that accusation.