A Leavenworth man heard orders on Monday to serve more prison time a felony shoplifting crime he committed back in November of 2017 in Atchison.
On Monday, during a hearing before Judge Robert Bednar of the Atchison County District Court, Ernest R. Whetstine, 56, received a sentence of 10 months in state prison and 12 months of post-release supervision, to be served consecutively with penalties applied by a Missouri jurisdiction. Whetstine, who has an extensive criminal history, had been on parole from the Show Me State at the time of his 2017 offense in Atchison.
Judd Herbster, Whetstine’s court-appointed counsel, had filed a motion requesting for Bednar to stick to probation as punishment for that offense, promising that Whetstine would abide by the law in the future, but Whetstine’s criminal history made him a candidate for prison beforehand.
Bednar told Whetstine that he has not seen too many defendants with a criminal record comprised of 62 convictions that consist of 51 thefts, burglaries and worthless checks.
Before Whetstine heard his fate, he told Bednar that he’s hopeful to become a better person and has been taking classes to learn how to be accountable and is proud of himself for his planning to get some training for forklift driving and participation in the Good Shepherd Program.
“I am proud of myself,” Whetstine said.
Whetstine was convicted in early November, 2019 after he admitted he shoplifted six laptop computers from Walmart in Atchison. Atchison police arrested Whetstine on Nov. 4, 2019, after his return to Atchison following two years in a Missouri prison for one of his previous convictions.
Concerning another recent sentencing for felony theft, Catherine Gonzales of Atchison was granted 12 months of probation suspended from a nine-month prison sentence. Gonzales was sentenced Jan. 3 in district court and was ordered to have no contact with her victim.
Police arrested her within a few days after a female reported her wallet and its contents were stolen from her purse while patronizing a restaurant Sept. 1 in the 100 block of South Third Street.
Gonzales pleaded guilty to the crime Nov. 15, 2019. Restitution has since been paid to the victim. During sentencing, Gonzales offered apologies to her family for any embarrassment she has caused them and to her victim. Atchison County Community Corrections will monitor her probation.