Thefts lead to probation for farm manager



A man who ponied up guilty pleas in 2009 to eight theft related charges that occurred during the time he managed a Montrose area horse farm received what amounted to a three-year probationary sentence Thursday in Susquehanna County Court.

Two of the eight judgments handed down to Jerry Dale Stines, 43, carried a five month prison sentence but also credited the man with time served. Stines spent five months and 11 days in the county jail in 2009 before posting bail and will therefore not be returning to prison for the offenses.

The other six probationary sentences issued by President Judge Kenneth Seamans will run concurrent with each other.

Five of the rulings carried a 36 month parole sentence. The final judgment lodged against Stines was sentenced him to two years on probation.

Stines’ attorney, John Petorak told the court his client had never had a run-in with the law until he had a failing business and started bouncing checks all over Susquehanna County.

“He was robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Petorak said afterwards.

As part of his sentence, Stines was ordered to pay out nearly $25,000 in restitution portioned out to seven different victims.

Petorak said Stines had received a workman’s compensation settlement that should be enough to pay everybody off.

Stines owes the most money to Mary Sudhop, owner of a farm he managed, Norfolk Heritage Farm. Stines was ordered to pay Sudhop more than $10,100 in restitution.

He also was ordered to pay lesser amounts to Robbin Tawil, Ross Feeds, Andre & Son, Michael Kamansky, Community Bank & Trust and Montrose Feed & Supply.

Stines told the court he now resides in North Carolina and is employed with a trucking company.

Supervision will be transferred from Susquehanna County probation office to Haywood County, N.C.