A woman who was convicted of taking more than $7,000 in Starke County Tourism Commission funds for her own use will be sentenced in Starke Circuit Court this morning at 10 a.m.
Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall found Jennie Carter guilty on a charge of theft after a bench trial. The prosecution called two witnesses: Chris Campione with the Indiana State Police, who was the lead investigator in the case, and Debbie Mix with the Starke County Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Commission. They testified of their knowledge of the event surrounding the incident. Defendant Jennie Carter testified on her own behalf.
The bench trial occurred over the course of two days in February.
Jennie Carter will appear in Starke Circuit Court this morning at 9 a.m. for a bench trial. She had been slated for a jury trial but her attorney filed a waiver for a bench trial which was granted in a hearing yesterday afternoon. Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall will preside over the hearing and make a judgment after all evidence is heard. Fifteen witnesses are expected to testify in this case.
Pat Mitchell, representing the Convention and Visitors Commission (formerly known as Starke County Visitors Association), appeared before the Starke County Commissioners last week to report that the membership had met even though they are missing three members.
Only four of the six members were present, but they did make a transfer of funds to the Starke County Tourism Commission.
Jennie Carter appeared for her initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court this morning. Charged with a felony count of theft, Carter pleaded not guilty to Judge Kim Hall. She is currently out on $5,000 cash bond.
Carter requested a court appointed lawyer, but under questioning by the judge, she said that she was gainfully employed, and paid $2,600 a month. When asked if she had anything of value that could be sold to pay a lawyer, she said she had a four-year-old television and a 2007 Ford Taurus that she was making payments on. Her on-hand cash was listed as $200.00, and she said her $5,000 bond money was borrowed.