A former Sheriff’s evidence technician received a three-year prison sentence for stealing $8,644 on the job.
Staci Allison, 41, showed no emotion when taken into custody after her sentencing hearing to serve 36 months in prison.
Allison was charged with theft and money laundering in May 2009, six months after 129 empty evidence bags that once contained $51,251 were found stuffed in a plastic tube in the Sheriff’s Office evidence room where she worked.
Assistant Attorney General Scott Marlow prosecuted the case, proving to the six women and six men on the jury Allison stole more than $8,000 by removing it from evidence envelopes inside evidence bags and deleting the computer records. She is suspected of stealing the larger amount, but Marlow charged her based on what he thought he could prove.
Allison’s defense attorney, Ralph Anderson, argued the deletions were made as a test of the system and the evidence room was a mess and poorly managed, making it easy for anyone to steal from it.
During the trial, Allison testified she didn’t know who stole the money and she continues to maintain her innocence.
Anderson filed a notice of appeal in Clallam County Superior Court on Dec. 15 during the sentencing hearing.
Before Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams sentenced Allison to three years in prison, Anderson argued for a first-time offender waiver and 90 days in jail with 30 days converted to community service and the rest served on electronic home monitoring.
“Staci was a good, hard worker,” he said, adding she has no prior criminal history, appeared for all court hearings and complied with all the court’s directions. He said she has medical problems and listed nearly a dozen medications she takes for them.
“This is not a person who would benefit from prison,” he said.
Marlow said Allison was convicted of a major economic offense and because of that an exceptional sentence is warranted.
“She violated that (trust), jeopardized all the cases, stole money from envelopes and spent it on herself,” he said.
He requested a 36-month sentence and $51,905.33 in restitution.
After Williams ordered the 36-month sentence, to decide on restitution later, Anderson made a motion to stay Allison’s sentence pending her appeal.
In the alternative, he asked she be given a week to prepare to go to prison.
Marlow objected, stating he doesn’t believe it was appropriate and it could undermine the public’s view of the justice system.
“When people are sentenced, they go to prison,” he said.
Williams said he was not convinced there were valid reasons to stay Allison’s sentence but told Anderson he could file a written motion.
Allison was taken into custody by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office to be turned over to the Department of Corrections.
Anderson said he intends to file a written motion requesting Allison not be imprisoned pending her appeal.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.