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Taylorsville woman will get no jail time for stealing from senior, prescription pill shopping

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By Shannon Brock

A Taylorsville woman accused of stealing money from a senior citizen and “prescription shopping” won’t serve any time behind bars as long as she complies with the terms of the probation granted to her in Spencer Circuit Court on Thursday.
Jacqualine A. Ballinger, 43, of the 1600 block of Cecil Noel Road, pleaded guilty in May to 23 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and eight counts of attempting to obtain or obtaining a controlled substance by fraud/false statement/forgery.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office recommended a sentence of a total of 10 years in prison, but Judge Charles Hickman probated that sentence for five years.
The Commonwealth recommended five years on each of 22 counts of possession of a forged instrument to run concurrently for a total of five years; two years on one count of possession of a forged instrument to run consecutively; and three years on each of eight counts of attempting to obtain or obtaining a controlled substance by fraud/false statement/forgery to run concurrently with one another for a total of three years, but consecutively to the previous charges for a grand total of 10 years.
Ballinger’s attorney, Stephen Wright, asked Hickman to grant her probation, noting that Ballinger has restitution to pay — which wouldn’t be possible if she were incarcerated.
Ballinger owes $12,452 in restitution — the amount taken from 93-year-old Arnettia Lawrence. Ballinger forged 23 separate checks between Aug. 16 and Oct. 21, 2012, on Lawrence’s account.
Hickman said that Ballinger must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and comply with the terms set up with Probation and Parole. He waived the court costs in both cases.