Ex-PTO treasurer sentenced to probation
A former PTO treasurer for Webb A. Murray Elementary School was convicted of obtaining property by false pretense and placed on probation for three years.
Holly Lafone Specht, 31, was originally indicted in April 2010 on three charges related to her stealing money from the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) while serving as the group’s treasurer during the 2008-09 school year.
On Thursday, a jury found Specht guilty of one count of obtaining property by false pretense, agreeing that she had used PTO funds to purchase goods at a local retail store.
The jury found Specht not guilty on four counts of forging and endorsement.
Specht was also charged with embezzlement, but that charge was dropped after Superior Court Judge Gary E. Trawick ruled the indictment was defective due to improper wording.
The district attorney’s office has not made a decision regarding the future of the embezzlement charge, said chief legal assistant Eric Farr.
Specht received a suspended sentence of six to eight months in prison and was placed on probation for 36 months.
Other local suspects convicted during the week of Criminal Superior Court held Feb. 27 through March 2 include:
• Eric Douglas Goode, 38, of Conover, was convicted of felony larceny and felony possess/distribute meth precursor and was sentenced to no less than 49 months and no more than 61 months in the Department of Correction.
• Patrick Alan Jones, 23, of Catawba, was convicted of felony possession of firearm by felon and was sentenced to no less than 14 months and no more than 17 months in the Department of Correction.
• Elena Medina Crooks, 32, of Hickory, was convicted of felony larceny by anti-inventory device.
• Jesse Hobert Gentry, 39, of Hickory, was convicted of felony manufacture Marijuana.
• Jason Robert Hill, 25, of Conover, was convicted of felony possess / distribute Meth precursor and felony possession of firearm by felon.
• Brent Allen Newell, 23, of Newton, was convicted of felony discharge weapon into occupied dwelling.
• Joseph Lee Rayburn, 34, of Maiden, was convicted of felony common law obstruction of justice.
• Carl Thomas Samson, 26, of Hickory, was convicted of felony breaking or entering.
• Boyce Dean Travis Jr., 34, of Newton, was convicted of felony attempted first-degree burglary and felony possession of burglary tools.