'Con artist' has probation revoked

June 20, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

A former employee of a Carroll computer store, characterized as a con artist by a state prosecutor, had his probation revoked Thursday and will serve 18 months in the county detention center on a previously suspended sentence.

Circuit Court Judge Francis M. Arnold revoked the probation of Steven Allen Bryant, 23, of the 200 block of Third St. in Frederick, after Bryant was found guilty of violating its conditions.

The probation was imposed after Bryant was convicted in March 1992 of theft over $300 for stealing computer equipment from Westminster Computer Center on 140 Village Road and taking $600 from a customer for computer repair work that was never done.

Bryant, then a store employee, stole an Apple Macintosh LC computer, a standard keyboard, a mouse and a monitor -- at a combined value of $2,199 -- from his employer in February 1991.

On two occasions, he told a customer to make checks for computer parts and repairs payable directly to him.

Judge Arnold convicted Bryant of the theft charge on March 12, 1992, and sentenced him to 18 months in the detention center, suspended the sentence and placed him on three years' probation, according to court records.

Bryant was ordered to pay restitution, supervision fees and court costs and to complete 80 hours of community service as part of his probation.

Since then, he has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Frederick and on a bad-check charge in Washington County.

He was arrested on the bad-check charge Jan. 27, the same day he was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and a year's probation on his drunken-driving conviction, according to court records.

Bryant failed to notify his probation officer of his arrests and did not complete the community service or follow the restitution payment schedule, according to testimony at the probation revocation hearing.

Ralph Ubersax, Bryant's attorney, sought work release for his client and told the judge that Bryan is generally a good person.

"He's a nice guy to be around, really, but . . . I don't know why he's doing these things," Mr. Ubersax said. "He's got a lot of things going for him. I don't know why he doesn't use them."

Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said Bryant was "nothing more than a con artist."

"Of course he's a nice guy. I'm sure everyone says that," Ms. Hill said. "Con artists have to be [nice guys] to be successful."

Judge Arnold agreed with Ms. Hill.

"You've chosen multiple ways to ignore the conditions of your probation," the judge told Bryant.

Judge Arnold also refused to grant Bryant work release.

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