posttrib
SUITABLE 
Weather Updates

Porter County courts: Home detention for woman who stole from mentally handicapped

Updated: May 3, 2013 5:36PM



VALPARAISO

Home detention for woman who stole from mentally handicapped

A Merrillville woman will spend two years on home detention for stealing $520 from the mentally handicapped residents of a group home where she used to work.

Kimberly Jo Gonzalez, 47, will also serve three years on probation after that, although she originally faced up to 20 years in prison for Class B felony burglary before pleading guilty to a lesser felony.

On June 25, Gonzalez broke into a group home on Beech Street in Valparaiso and stole the debit cards of three relatives, and workers there identified her photo as she took money out of an ATM on U.S. 6.

She’d called the home and asked a worker to leave the back door open for carpet cleaners, and she said at Friday’s sentencing that she was in a bind during a separation and needed to pay money owed to NIPSCO so she could get utilities at her new place.

Man gets eight years after failing drug program

A Porter County man who gave his prescription medications to others in the Porter County Drug Court therapeutic community received an eight-year prison sentence on Friday.

Damian L. Stalbaum, 21, was kicked out of Drug Court on Feb. 22 for that and other offenses: not going to his GED classes, getting kicked out of a halfway house and disappearing for a week, among other offenses.

Porter Superior Judge William Alexa also sentenced Stalbaum to the Westville therapeutic program, and if he passes the program, he could petition for a modification of his sentence.

He originally broke into a home on Division Road in September 2011 while the owners slept and stole a wallet, a knife and two guns, one of which he sold for 10 Vicodin pills.

Check theft nets woman time served, probation

A woman who stole three checks from a relative in May 2002 received a sentence Friday of time served and the rest of two years on probation.

Lalynn L. Bothwell, 42, was arrested in Lake County for a similar crime, and attorney Bob Harper said Lake was waiting for the outcome of the Porter County sentencing before sentencing her for violating probation on that charge.

She cashed the checks for a total of $875.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.