BROOKSVILLE — A Spring Hill man will spend nine months in jail after pleading guilty last week to exploitation of his elderly mother.
Sean Patrick Welsh, 38, stole about $62,000 from his mother, who has been diagnosed with dementia.
He was arrested in January after he sold his mother's car and ran up charges on her credit cards.
As part of the plea deal, Welsh will enter a drug rehabilitation program upon release and will serve 20 years of drug offender probation. He cannot contact his mother and will not be allowed to live in Hernando County.
The plea deal saved Welsh from facing more serious charges. Entering the courtroom Friday, he faced 12 counts, including one of exploitation of an elderly person and eight of criminal use of personal ID information. All those charges were dropped and Welsh pleaded guilty to organized fraud of $50,000 or more and dealing in stolen property.
Assistant State Attorney Sherry Byerly said she would not have offered the deal had Welsh's sister, who has the victim's power of attorney, not insisted.
"She did not want to see her brother go to prison," Byerly said.
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A 37-year-old man who stole $152,000 worth of air conditioner parts to pay for a drug habit will not see any more jail time.
Paul Stridiron, who has been at the Hernando County Jail since his arrest in May, was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation Friday after pleading guilty to 24 charges related to the thefts.
Stridiron stole copper coils, fittings and tubing from 21 businesses with air conditioners in Hernando County.
Circuit Judge Jack Springstead handed down the two consecutive five-year sentences so Stridiron will have time to pay back the victims — a condition of his probation.
Stridiron will also receive drug counseling.