Tyler Court Serves Justice
MIDDLEBOURNE — Among other pressing cases, Circuit Court Judge David Hummel Jr. presided over a probation hearing concerning a mother who had her hungry children in the back seat of a vehicle she had stolen.
According to court documents, when Kara D. Long, 26, of Sandyville was arrested, the officer asked her when her children’s meal had been.
Long responded, “They don’t need to eat… ever.”
During the Jan. 11 court session at the Tyler County Courthouse, Long had previously pled guilty to auto theft by way of a plea agreement where she was fined $500 and ordered to serve 6 months in jail for each charge. She faced two separate charges and was allowed to apply for a rule 35 motion after six months of incarceration in hopes of lessening her sentence to probation. She had previously been arrested for driving a stolen vehicle and had her two children present in the vehicle with her. Her two children were found unfastened in the vehicle. When arrested, one of the children appeared to be hungry and when the officer asked Long when the child last ate she replied, “They don’t need to eat… ever.”
The state’s recommendation was to serve two consecutive terms. Long pled her case as to why she would be a good candidate for probation, however, Hummel denied probation and Long was sentenced to finish her term in jail.
In other court news, Michelle D. Bricker pled guilty to count one of identity theft.
On Sept.3, 2013, Bricker’s mother, Marlene Jackson, reported that she had receiving bills from credit cards that she had never possessed. Bricker had electronically applied for two credit cards in her mother’s name while living with her in Friendly. Bricker was also caught on video using the cards at a bank located in Tyler County.
The possible charge of 1-5 year was suspended and Bricker was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,6230.85. Brickers probation was allowed to transfer to Colorado where she resides.
Also, John M. Long appeared before Hummel to resolve a subpoena regarding Social Security checks. Long had been the representative payee of the household that had been receiving Social Security checks.
The state argues that during the time period between July 3, 2012 and Oct. 2, 2013, one of the members of the household had moved out, yet Long continued to receive and cash the Social Security checks for that person.
Long’s Attorney Patricia Kurelac argued that it is relevant to know how the funds have been spent and she wanted to revert back as far as 2008 to show that her client was the only one with disability. She said that Long never received any checks until 2011 and so from 2008 to 2011.
Kurelac stated that Long is continually using his own money to provide insurance for his step-son. She felt that reimbursement should be owed to her client.
“This is more of a child support collection case or a Social Security Disability case than it is embezzlement. The Social Security administration is using the same office, the Tyler County Prosecutor’s office, as a collection agency. They’re not even interested in it enough to pursue it,” Kurelac said. “He’s not a criminal your honor. He is a hard working man.”
Hummel ordered a subpoena to the Social Security Administration for records of funds issued to Long’s late wife and step-son during the alleged time period. Kurelac objected stating that this was too specific of a time frame and would not show the full picture of how funds were spent. The case was postponed until February 23 for a status hearing.