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Whittaker squanders second chance
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A woman who stole more than $30,000, but had the chance to have the grand theft charge erased from her record, did not make the most of her opportunity.

Samantha Gaybrielle Whittaker had her judicial diversion set aside by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley and was ordered to serve five days in jail for violation of probation.

According to court records, Whittaker was not abiding by conditions of her probation.

Specifically, she did not report to her probation officer, did not maintain employment, did not notify the court about a change of address, and failed to submit to a drug screen.

She was also not making restitution payments and was ordered by the court to begin repaying the $30,000 she stole.

Whittaker’s original sentence came in early 2017 after she went to Cumberland Bonding and informed them her stepfather and business partner, Danny Ray Elrod, had been stealing from the company. According to sheriff’s investigator Steven Carpenter, the two had gotten into a fight and Whittaker became mad and decided to tell on her stepfather.

However, when she turned over the incriminating documents, it was discovered she had also been stealing from Cumberland Bonding. Her belief she would not be charged because she was turning in her stepfather was misguided.

Carpenter noted their job was to sign bonds for those who could pay to get out of jail on bail. They would keep the money instead of turning it over to the bonding company.

“There were many people who were out on bond that Cumberland had no idea were out because the bonding agents didn’t turn in the paperwork or money,” said Carpenter.

It was determined Whittaker stole $30,210, while the two combined to steal around $43,000.

The judicial diversion would have erased the criminal charge from her record had Whittaker abided by the terms of her three-year probation period.