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Keener avoids jail in embezzlement case
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In a case that apparently fell through the cracks of justice, a six-year-old embezzlement case has been settled with the defendant avoiding jail time – provided she pay back $9,500 to the victimized business.
The defendant, Joyce Keener, was granted a pre-trial diversion on the charge of felony theft. As part of her requirements for the pre-trial diversion she must pay $9,500 to the victim, which is the former Phillips 66 company located on Beersheba Street.
Her diversion comes more than six years after she was indicted on the charge of theft over $60,000 back in 2006. Keener was the manager of Phillips 66 when thousands of dollars worth of money and lottery tickets disappeared.
Back at the time of her indictment, prosecutors claimed nearly $100,000 had been funneled away by Keener. However, in the plea agreement she is being held liable for less than $10,000.
Lawmen say the thefts were made at numerous times over a two-year period while she was entrusted with the store finances. It was never discovered how much, if any money, Keener made by cashing in the lottery tickets.
The case itself languished through a web of continuances and postponements for the six years before the pre-trial diversion was hammered out. The exact cause of the exceptionally long wait was not revealed Thursday during the acceptance of the memorandum of understanding by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley.
The indictment was actually brought when Dale Potter was district attorney. He left office six years ago.
The pre-trial diversion means all records will be erased provided Keener abides by the pre-trial agreement and gets into no further trouble in the next two years. Should there be an issue, prosecutors would have to bring the case back up and schedule it for trial since she has not entered a guilty plea to the charge like she would have under a judicial diversion.