DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — A former dispatcher who pleaded no contest to stealing $188,000 from a baptist church evaded prison during his sentencing Tuesday.
Prosecutors said Roger McLaney II, 47, served as treasurer of the church from November 2016 to September 2020. While in this “position of trust,” McLaney “systematically stole” $188,254.23 from the church, they added.
Prosecutors asked Judge Kelvin Wells to sentence McLaney to three years in prison followed by 10 years of probation and to pay restitution. They added that the victims in the case supported incarceration and probation.
Court documents show that McLaney’s attorney, Clay Adkinson, filed a motion asking Judge Wells to depart from the sentencing guidelines in the case and keep McLaney out of prison.
“The offense, in this case, was an isolated incident for which the Defendant has shown remorse, and was committed in an unsophisticated manner,” Adkinson wrote. “Restitution was paid (in full to the best of the Defendant’s belief) prior to the formal prosecution of charges.”
Wells ordered McLaney to three years in prison but suspended the sentence, according to the clerk of court officials. He also ordered five years of probation and ordered McLaney to pay about $22,000 in restitution within 30 days.
He also ordered McLaney to take an anti-theft class and perform 100 hours of community service.