Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Man gets prison for stealing from family

Judge says defendant ‘stabbed them in the back’


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Seth I. Allen

A 22-year-old Hailey man was sentenced Monday to four and a half years in prison for stealing from his family.

“You stabbed them in the back,” Judge Robert Elgee told Seth I. Allen at sentencing in Blaine County 5th District Court. Elgee noted that Allen has a history of substance abuse and mental-health issues and has failed repeatedly at probation.

Allen is required to spend 18 months in prison before he is eligible for parole.

He pleaded guilty in January to the felony crime of burglary. In exchange for his guilty plea, the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office agreed to dismissal of two other felony charges for burglary and forgery.

A Blaine County Sheriff’s Office report states that Allen was charged with the crimes for breaking into his parents’ home on Treasure Lane near Hailey on Nov. 16. The report states that he stole blank checks from his mother’s checkbook and forged her signature on two of them, writing and cashing checks to himself worth more than $1,200.

Allen had remained in custody on $75,000 bond following his arrest on Dec. 5.

He was convicted of a similar felony in 2010 for stealing checks that his mother, a member of Wood River Fiber Arts Guild, had for the organization. In exchange for a guilty plea to grand theft in that case, a second count of grand theft and two counts of forgery were dismissed. Originally placed on probation, he was found guilty twice of probation violations and sentenced to an Idaho Department of Correction 90-day alcohol rehabilitation program under what is referred to as the state “rider program.”

In court Monday, public defender Douglas Werth requested that Allen be placed again in a rider program.

“He’s had a struggle with alcohol and drugs since he’s been very young,” Werth said. “He knows what he needs to do. He needs to fully immerse himself, if the court allows it, in treatment.”

Allen was also represented at the hearing by Hailey attorney Cheri Hicks, who was assigned public defender in the earlier case against him.

“I really hate to see him still in this position,” Hicks said. “I think just locking him up is not going to change him.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback recommended to the judge that Allen be sentenced to six years in prison.

“Obviously, probation has not worked for Mr. Allen,” Fredback said. “He targeted his family in order to avoid getting caught. He uses that relationship as a son to victimize them. He’s already gone a rider. It’s not appropriate to do it again.”

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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