DEER LODGE — A woman has pleaded no contest to charges she swindled her elderly father.
Deer Lodge district court records show Cindy L. Bentcik Harrington pleaded nolo contendere to felony elder abuse and exploitation and theft of public assistance. A no-contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea, and she could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 fine on each charge.
According to court records, Lee Harrington and Kim Fincher contacted Adult Protective Service when notified their elderly father’s home was being foreclosed. They suspected he was being taken advantage of by their sister, Cindy Harrington, who had moved into the home to take care of the man after his wife died in 2009. Also living in the home were the his great-granddaughters, whom he and his wife had adopted before her death.
Banking records revealed that Harrington was handling her father’s finances and failed to make the home’s mortgage payments since September 2011. Prosecutors say she made numerous cash withdrawals for herself and others without her father’s permission.
Harrington is free on her own recognizance pending a pre-sentence investigation.
In other court news:
Adrian Brant Guille, 35, was sentenced to 45 years at Montana State Prison on three counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner. The three consecutive 15-year sentences, with 10 years suspended, will be served consecutive to his underlying five-year sentence of felony fourth or consecutive DUI. No credit was given for time served.
Penny Kay McAfee, 42, admitted violating conditions of her probation by shoplifting and other violations. In October 2010 she was given a five year suspended sentence for criminal possession of dangerous drugs. A judge reinstated her five-year prison sentence with no time suspended with a $500 fine and court surcharges.
Parole violations, that included two theft cases in Missoula, resulted in reinstatement of a five-year prison term for Ryan Paul Ireland, 28, for possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner. Credit was given for 203 days served since his arrest.