Charges reduced for two involved in BSC case

Published 8:26 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two of the four individuals charged with the theft of Bainbridge State College property in February have plead guilty and had their charges reduced to misdemeanors.
Natalie L. Higley, Leonard Willis Dean, Larry Wayne McConnell and Enoch Spurgeon Benefield, Jr., were collectively charged with four counts of theft by receiving stolen property, four counts of theft by taking, two counts of theft by conversion, two counts of making a false statement and one count of violating the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.
McConnell pled nolo contendere during the May term Grand Jury and was charged with three counts of Theft by Taking, 36 months of consecutive probation and a $1,000 fine.
During the November term Grand Jury, Benefield and Dean both pled guilty and each had their charges reduced to one count of Criminal Trespass misdemeanor, a $1,000 fine and 12 months of probation.
Higley, who is being represented by Bainbridge attorney Ryan Cleveland, refused to plea.
“My client has their career to salvage, which is already tainted by the accusations, and she’s going to keep fighting,” Cleveland said.
Between Jan. 2006 and Jan. 2013, the four individuals allegedly and collectively stole a Ford tractor, a golf cart, an ice machine, two portable storage buildings, an electric hand saw, a table saw, an office table, a laptop bag and miscellaneous lumber from BSC.
Higley, Dean and McConnell were employees of BSC during the alleged thefts.

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