Restitution, sentence affirmed for woman who stole co-workers’ purse

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A woman who stole hundreds of dollars from her co-worker’s purse did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that there was an error in ordering her to pay restitution of the full amount stolen or that the sentence of more than two years was inappropriate.

As Lisa Lisk was leaving work from Pinheads Bowling alley in July 2018, she took her co-worker’s purse with her, which contained various personal items, including $400. Lisk then took a Lyft home and left the purse in the backseat when the driver arrived at her residence.

The driver called the purse’s owner the next day and once it was returned, the only thing missing was the cash, which had been reported as stolen. Lisk was subsequently charged with Level 6 felony and Class A misdemeanor theft, pleaded guilty to the felony and had the misdemeanor dismissed.

Lisk was ordered to pay $400 in restitution and sentenced to 2½ years imprisonment, with six months to be served on community corrections. In Lisa Joann Lisk v. State of Indiana, 19A-CR-02602, Lisk appealed, arguing that the trial court committed fundamental error regarding the restitution order and that her sentence was inappropriate.

But the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, first finding the evidence provided a sufficient basis for determining the loss and did not require the trial court to base its order on mere speculation or conjecture. It also found Garcia v. State, 47 N.E.3d 1249, 1252 (Ind.Ct. App. 2015) to be distinguishable from the case at hand and therefore did not compel a reversal.

Additionally, the appellate court found the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the offense and Lisk’s character.

“While it may seem to some that a maximum sentence under these circumstances is harsh, we cannot say that it is inappropriate given the trial court’s conclusions about Lisk’s history of dishonesty, including her past convictions as well as her dishonest behavior during these proceedings,” Judge John Baker wrote for the unanimous appellate court.

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