Judge: Lack of Remorse Adds to Prison Time

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SCRANTON -- The Walk family made the trip from their home in Massachusetts to Scranton to advocate for their late grandmother.

Mary Nichols passed away last fall and her family had their suspicions confirmed: that Mary's caretaker had been draining her bank account.

Kristen Munley-Wheatley, along with her husband Corey, were charged with forging checks in Mary's name and using her credit card. Investigators found evidence that the couple stole more than $52,000 in about 18 months.

"It`s unheard of to pay yourself $5,000 when somebody`s in a hospital bed, and that was just the tip of the iceberg too. I don`t believe she thinks that this could possibly happen, or that she`d get caught," Kim Walk told Newswatch 16.

The judge saw the same lack of remorse at the Wheatley's sentencing hearing Wednesday and decided to sentence the couple to extra time than is recommended: six months to 18 months behind bars.

"It shouldn`t happen all the time and he, the judge, really made that, got that point across," Walk added.

The Wheatley's must also pay the Walks for the money stolen.  They aren't counting on that money anytime soon, it was meant to be a college fund for their two sons.

They do have advice for anyone with aging parents.

"I guess you really have to talk to your family members and ask them about their finances and things like that, they want to stay independent, you let them, you try to help them out too," Donald Walk said.

Kristen Munley-Wheatley and Corey Wheatley must also complete 3 and a half years of probation. Kristen was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.


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