Sentencing to be held on November 13, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Warrenton, VA – September 11, 2018, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Fisher announced today that former President of the Grace Miller Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, Kiley Morgan Gonzalez, has pleaded guilty in a charge bargain agreement that will subject her to a possible 90 year prison term. Such a maximum term is unlikely, but possible given the plea terms. “We will certainly argue for a prison sentence,” Fisher said.
Over a period of less than a year Gonzalez stole approximately
$13,000.00 from the PTO and forged checks as well. “We generally see that judges and juries in Fauquier are pretty tough on these cases,” Fisher explained calling the action a “betrayal of trust” of the Community, he continued. Virginia Sentencing Guidelines set by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s sentencing commission will provide a range that is more of a historical average of similar sentences. Gonzales originally faced 15 felonies, but the agreement to plead guilty to 7 felonies is consistent with charge bargaining practice according to Mr. Fisher. “The goal is multifaceted,” said Fisher. “We select a sufficient number of charges to create a wide range of prison exposure,” and this allows a judge or jury plenty of room to decide on what is appropriate for a given defendant,” Fisher explained.
“In a guilty plea case, a judge will have plenty of room to decide punishment as well, Fisher continued, “and of course the sentencing guidelines may play a factor as well,” he said.
“At this level of theft, we generally argue for a prison sentence, a prison sentence sends a strong message to the offender and any other likeminded potential future offender,” Fisher said.
Fisher cited numerous examples from prior history in his office. In 2014, the treasurer of the Goldvein Fire Department was ordered to serve 3 years in prison for stealing $70,000.00. Fisher also prosecuted Robin Day Nicholas in 2014 who embezzled $3.8 million over 14 years and was given over a decade in prison with many more years of suspended time.
Other cases of theft prosecuted by the Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney and his office include:
Kelly Lynn Leach – 2013, Warrenton Fire Company – $19,000.00 prison term: 6 months
Margie Susan Ryder – 2017, Warrenton Heating & Air – $80,000.00 prison term: 2 years
Margaret McCann – 2017, Partnership for Warrenton Foundation – $9, 000.00: Suspended sentence with restitution and 300 hours picking up trash along roadside, et cet.
“The offenders, as well as the value, differ from case to case, and the courts take those factors into account in each matter,” the Commonwealth’s Attorney remarked. “Each case is different, but the higher the value and/or the deeper the betrayal of trust, the more likely an offender is to serve a sentence in prison or jail,” he concluded.