Man to plead in motel embezzlement

A 43-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man begged East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl to release him from jail after he agreed to plead guilty in District Court to forgery in the theft of more than $9,000 from the Village Motel.

"I'm begging to be released from here," Matthews told East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl.

"It's absolutely for my family. They're going to be out on the street," he said.

EnEarl granted the request Wednesday, and placed Matthews on house arrest.

"You're using your family, but you weren't thinking of your family when this occurred," EnEarl said.

Matthews is accused of forging checks from the Village Motel between Aug. 28 and Nov. 10, 2009.

Sarah McKinnis, 34, the ex-manager of the Gardnerville motel, was sentenced to up to three years in prison for embezzlement.

According to court reports, McKinnis reportedly wrote checks to several of her friends, including Matthews.

"I've been clean and sober for seven months. I want to succeed. I have not done anything wrong in seven months. I need to look for work. I'm on state extended unemployment benefits. If I am on house arrest. I won't leave. I promise you judge, whatever it takes," he said.

Prosecutor Laurie Trotter pointed out that Matthews had a felony embezzlement conviction in 2004 and a failure to appear.

Matthews' lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client had a lot to lose by violating terms of his house arrest.

"He's lived here 13 years, his entire family lives here. He successfully completed a prior felony probation. If he screwed up in anyway, it would jeopardize this case. He has a lot of incentive to do well and stay in the area," Lopez said. "He's sober, going to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and reconnected with his family."

Matthews is to appear May 10 in District Court to plead guilty to one count of forgery.

He has agreed to pay restitution with a recommendation of a 12-36-month suspended sentence and probation.

Codefendant McKinnis was sentenced to three years in prison on April 19. She was ordered to pay $9.212.12 in restitution and $700 to Walmart for a stolen television. Matthews also was allegedly involved in the television theft.


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