The former treasurer of Waco Baptist Church was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday for stealing more than $114,000 from the church over a three-year period.

Angelia Stacy, 43, of Waco, pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to a single count of theft by unlawful taking, more than $300 as part of a plea deal with the commonwealth attorney’s office.

Stacy admitted writing checks from a church account and using a church credit card for personal expenses between Jan. 7, 2005 and March 2008 following an investigation into the church’s accounting. The total amount taken was $114,080.96, according to the investigation.

Judge Jean C. Logue set the two-year sentence after Stacy accepted the plea agreement without a specific recommendation on sentencing. Stacy’s attorney, Jim Baechtold, made a motion requesting that the two years be probated, but Logue denied the motion.

“That sends a message to the community that there is no serious crime,” Logue said. “This was a serious situation.”

Baechtold had argued that Stacy’s cooperation with law enforcement following the discovery of the theft and her need for treatment for a gambling addiction, as well as having to care for a teenage daughter, were reasons to consider probation.

In opposing the motion, Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith argued that probation would depreciate the severity of the crime, particularly because much of the money was intended to fund worldwide missionary programs.

Smith also said the state had shown leniency by only charging Stacy once rather than for each instance, which could have resulted in a much longer prison sentence.

Several members of the church’s congregation filled the courtroom for the sentencing, and met with Smith following the hearing.

Stacy has made $2,000 in restitution payments to the church since her guilty plea, and Baechtold said she would continue to make payments.

Brian Smith may be reached at bsmith@richmondregister.com or at 624-6694.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Trending Video

Recommended for you