Carroll Digest

Carroll Digest

April 25, 2003

Ex-bookkeeper gets probation for theft of $35,000 from office

A former bookkeeper at a Westminster doctors' office received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation yesterday after she entered a guilty plea to stealing $35,000 from her employers.

Sharon Frances Wiles, 45, of the 600 block of Jasontown Road, was ordered to repay the money as part of a plea agreement. Wiles has paid $2,500 and must pay the balance during her five years of supervised probation, said Carroll County Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., who also ordered that she not work in a similar job during that time.

Wiles received a suspended, 10-year prison sentence. She entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that enough evidence exists to convict.

As part of the plea agreement, the two doctors at Airpark Primary Care in the 100 block of Airport Drive said they would not file civil lawsuits, said Senior State's Attorney Melissa O. Hockensmith and defense attorney Frank D. Coleman. Wiles was hired soon after the office opened in January 1998.

From February 1998 to November 2000, according to the statement of facts, Wiles ran a computer system for money received from patients for insurance co-payments or visit fees - money that she was to have deposited daily, but from which more than $20,000 was missing. Wiles was fired when discrepancies were discovered in November 2000 with patients' appointment records that had no billings to the insurance companies, Hockensmith said.

Sykesville woman accused of taking granddaughter

A Sykesville woman has been arrested as a fugitive and charged with kidnapping in Tennessee for allegedly taking her 3-year-old granddaughter from a preschool there and driving back to Maryland on Wednesday in an apparent custody dispute, according to state police at Westminster.

Brenda Faye Horton, 54, of the 1000 block of Fannie Dorsey Road, was met there by state troopers about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said. They said they were notified by the Hancock County sheriff's office that the girl had been taken about 10 a.m. from the school, and that the girl's guardian there had been called and told that the child was unharmed but would not be returned.

Horton did not have legal custody of her granddaughter, who was temporarily placed in foster care while her return to Tennessee was arranged. Horton was being held yesterday on a fugitive warrant at the Carroll County Detention Center.

Charges refiled against man accused of buying teens beer

Correcting technical errors in charging documents, Carroll County prosecutors have dismissed and refiled charges against a Westminster father accused of buying beer for a party that resulted in nine girls being suspended in January from Westminster High School's varsity basketball team.

Randall S. Matthews, 47, charged with one felony count of sexual child abuse, is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who was a friend and teammate of his daughter. He also is charged with 16 counts of providing alcohol to underage drinkers - a charge called "contributing to the condition of a child."

An error in the District Court commissioner's manual resulted in an incorrect charge being filed in February. Last month, the District Court clerk's office issued a notice that Matthews had not requested a preliminary hearing, although his defense attorney, Scott D. Shellenberger, had done so the day after Matthews' arrest, records show.

"To avoid all of those problems, I filed a new case with the District Court with anticipation of ... just starting over again," Carroll County Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore said.

Matthews' new preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 20.

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