Philippi woman sentenced to prison in Belington VFW theft case

BARBOUR COUNTY—Jennifer Crim appeared for a sentencing hearing in Barbour County Circuit Court before Judge Shawn D. Nines. 

Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Hoxie represented the State of West Virginia, and Attorney Timothy Prentice represented Ms. Crim.  Ms. Crim had previously entered a guilty plea to one felony count of “Grand Larceny” and one felony count of “Conspiracy.”

Ms. Crim was employed as a bartender at the Belington VFW in June of 2019.  Ms. Crim contacted Jacob Ebersole about stealing from the VFW.  On June 16th, Ms. Crim and Mr. Ebersole traveled at night to the Belington VFW.  Ms. Crim had deliberately left the backdoor and safe unlocked. 

Mr. Ebersole then entered the VFW and stole over $3,000.00 that was left in the unlocked safe, which was later divided between Mr. Ebersole and Ms. Crim.

Prosecutor Hoxie argued for Ms. Crim to receive the maximum sentence in prison because she stole over $3,000 from veterans and minimalized her responsibility in her pre-sentence investigation report. 

Prosecutor Hoxie also noted Ms. Crim used methamphetamine multiple times while on bond. 

VFW Commander Bernie Corley addressed the court, and asked Judge Nines to sentence Ms. Crim to prison because she stole from veterans who had served their county and risked their lives for their community and she had abused their trust and the community’s trust.

Attorney Prentice requested that Ms. Crim be granted an alternative sentence because this offense was her first felony conviction and she was suffering from alcoholism at the time of the act.  Ms. Crim then apologized to the court for her actions, and apologized to the VFW for stealing.

Judge Nines however did not agree with Attorney Prentice that Ms. Crim would be an appropriate candidate for an alternative sentence.  Judge Nines found that she broke the trust of the VFW and was side-stepping responsibility for her crimes by blaming her actions on Mr. Ebersole. 

Judge Nines also found that Ms. Crim had used methamphetamine while on bond and had violations in jail for theft.  Judge Nines then sentenced Ms. Crim to prison for 1 to 10 years for the offense of Grand Larceny and 1 to 5 years for the offense of Conspiracy. 

Ms. Crim was then transported back to jail to serve her sentence.

Jacob Ebersole will be sentenced at a later date.


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