low top polo boots Former consignment store owner withdraws plea
Caitlyn Barbara Lee s withdrawal of a no contest plea on Monday for larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000 came after Isabella County Trial Judge Mark Duthie said he would not go along with a delay in sentence that would keep Lee out of jail.
Lee, who operated Kate s Designer Consignor on South Mission Street, was charged with larceny by conversion more than $20,000 but entered the plea to the lesser charge in early December.
She is accused of taking clothing and other items for resale at her store, then neither paying clients when the items were sold nor giving the items back if they didn t.
On Monday, during what was to be Lee s sentencing, Duthie said he would not agree to a delay in sentencing because of Lee s criminal past and because she did not take any responsibility for allegedly stealing from at least 34 people.
Duthie said he did not want to allow Lee, 26, to have a delay of sentence but her attorney, Sarah Spencer Noggle, said previously that there were errors in the sentencing report.
Duthie said Monday that Lee has had criminal cases in Isabella, Clare and Bay counties, and that she has a bad track record and a lot of restitution to pay.
Although Duthie did not take Lee s Dec. 6 plea, he said he familiarized himself with the case and noted that Lee did not take responsibility for her actions.
Because Lee did not concede to any wrongdoing, Duthie said, he would not go along with a delay of sentence, allowing Lee to withdraw the plea.
The case was set to go to trial May 28.
Before Lee withdrew her no contest plea which she said she entered because of civil liability two of her alleged victims were in the courtroom, ready to speak before her sentencing.
Nicole Shepherd of Harrison and Pam Freidinger of Coleman both took clothing to Lee s store.
Shepherd said Lee owes her about $1,200 for five prom dresses.
Freidinger said she is owed about $2,000 for eight wedding dresses.
Freidinger said she took the clothing to Lee s store about a week before it closed, and that Lee assured her that the store was not closing.
Lee said previously that she closed the store because of a medical condition.
Originally charged with larceny between $1,000 and $20,000, Isabella County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert Holmes upped the charge to larceny by conversion more than $20,000 as more alleged victims came forward.
Lee on Dec. 7 accepted the plea agreement of larceny between $1,000 and $20,000 that called for two years of probation, restitution of more than $12,000 and no guarantee that she would not serve jail time.
She had been ordered to stand trial on the original larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000 in Isabella County but Holmes on Nov. 19 requested that the case be sent back to district court after other victims came forward and he increased the charge.
She was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 3 in but had a physician s excuse because she had given birth days earlier.
Lee is alleged to have owed a total of $25,622.92 to clients but charged 50 percent to sell merchandise and was ordered at the time of the plea to return half of the money.
The criminal background to which Duthie referred includes an attempted larceny by conversion conviction between $1,000 and $20,000 in Clare County.
Lee, then known as Caitlyn Barbara Mosurkewich, was sentenced on that conviction in August 2010 and was discharged without improvement in July 2011, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.