WILLIAMSPORT — A woman pleaded guilty in Lycoming County court to stealing $33,000 from residents at two homes for those with special needs.
They trusted her with their money, and now she admitted she stole a lot of it.
Police say Terri Stutzman of Williamsport used the money to buy herself clothes, a bed, sound system, air conditioner, stays at hotels and more.
Arrest papers show she had residents believing she was taking the money for them to go on trips, trips that never happened.
Stutzman left the Lycoming County Courthouse after pleading guilty to the felony theft charge for stealing $33,000 from residents of two care homes in Williamsport.
Stutzman worked as residential director at the homes for those with special needs, both run by Hope Enterprises. She has since resigned.
Stutzman admits to taking the money from 13 residents between September of 2012 and October of 2013.
Relatives of one victim brought a photo to court for the guilty plea. James Stryker passed away shortly after learning Stutzman took $6,000 from him.
“I think that he just gave up and didn’t want to face the fact and hurt and pain that someone he trusted for several years, a real long time, had done such a horrible thing to him,” said Tonya Bennett, the Stryker’s niece.
If Terri Stutzman pays $10,000 dollars in restitution by her sentencing in July, she will get 90 days house arrest. If not, she will have to spend that time in jail. She could have been sentenced to seven years.