Former juvenile office bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Southeast Missourian

A former bookkeeper at the Cape Girardeau County Juvenile Office averted a jury trial Monday by pleading guilty to two counts of felony stealing.

Robin Whitson, 38, was charged Sept. 11 with 10 counts of stealing for embezzling more than $97,000 from local schools.

Her case was moved to Columbia, Mo., on a change of venue to Boone County. A jury trial had been scheduled for Wednesday.

As part of her plea, Whitson admitted she deposited checks meant for the Cape Girardeau and Jackson public schools into her own bank account at the Cape Regional Credit Union using an ATM. The embezzlement occurred over 12 months, dating back to September 2001, prosecutors said.

Whitson faces up to 14 years in prison on the charges, but as part of the plea agreement the state agreed not to request that she serve more than 10 years in prison, said Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

Under the open plea, the judge is free to impose any sentence from probation to 14 years, said Whitson's attorney, Steve Wilson.

Judge Ellen Roper ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for July 25.

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