The Southern Standard, by Duane Sherrill —
A cleaning woman who was cleaning out her employer avoided jail time this week although she was at a loss to explain to the court why she stole over $3,000 while serving as a maid for the company.
The defendant, Dogma M. Walker, entered guilty pleas to charges of theft arising from her stealing money on a number of occasions from Gant Oil where she was an after-hours cleaning person.
“This is the deal of a lifetime,” said General Sessions Judge Larry Ross, pointing out she could have faced going to the penitentiary on the felony counts. “You don’t want to come back up here. You’re getting an unheard of deal.”
Walker stole from the Beersheba Street business on several occasions while she was entrusted with cleaning the establishment. Prosecutors say she took cash from various areas while she had the run of the building, her crime being uncovered when money was discovered missing.
Walker was unable to come up with an answer when asked by the judge why she would commit such a crime ‘ a crime which was knocked down to a misdemeanor.
“She made a series of poor decisions,” said her defense attorney, John Partin, noting she has no prior criminal record.
It was the lack of criminal record, and the fact she will pay back the $3,204 she stole, that prompted the victim, as well as investigators, to agree with the plea bargain. As a result of her deal, Walker will be on probation for a year and have to perform 40 hours public service work, the latter of which Judge Ross wants to involve manual labor.