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Woman who stole from disabled person gets suspended sentence

Woman who stole from disabled person gets suspended sentence

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A judge gave a woman a three-year suspended sentence Thursday for stealing money from a developmentally disabled man in Butte by using his debit card.

Taylor Nicole Sheppard, 24, had previously pleaded guilty to a felony charge of exploitation of a person with developmental disability. It carries a maximum 10-year prison term and fine up to $10,000.

She has been free on her own recognizance and her public defender, J.B. Anderson, said she had a job, a place to live and has been active in the Missoula Family Drug Court. District Court Judge Kurt Krueger asked how that was going and she said, “It has helped me a lot.”

Krueger gave her the suspended sentence but said one of the conditions was completing the drug court.

Prosecutors say Sheppard was an employee of AWARE when she took a debit card belonging to a developmentally disabled man in AWARE’s care and tried to charge items or get cash from it numerous times in February 2017.

She was able to get at least $360, but many of her attempts failed. She then tried to put her name on his account online and later tried to transfer all money in his account — more than $19,000 — into her own account, prosecutors say.

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