|Alleged fake cancer fundraiser will go to trial|
|Written by BILL RYAN/Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Friday, 03 May 2013 16:32|
With a courtroom full of both supporters and alleged victims of her actions, Kimberlie Gustwiller declined a scheduled plea agreement and will go on trial July 1-3.
Gustwiller, 39, of North Baltimore, is charged with theft, for allegedly soliciting thousands of dollars for cancer treatment last year.
It was later discovered she did not have the disease.
Because of speedy trial requirements guaranteed under the constitution, Wood Common Pleas Court Judge Alan Mayberry tried to set a trial date of May 20-22.
Defense attorney Costa G. Krinas said he had a conflict with this date, as well as with the second date offered of June 24-26. The trial is now scheduled for July 1-3, with Gustwiller signing a time waiver.
Thomas Matuszak, assistant Wood County prosecuting attorney, announced for the record Gustwiller’s plea offer. It included a recommendation for the maximum penalty, which could be up to three years in prison.
“I know it does not seem like much of an agreement, but it does give her the opportunity to accept responsibility, demonstrate genuine remorse and participate in a pre-sentence investigation which allows her to try and mitigate the sentence,” Matuszak said.
Following the time on the record, the prosecuting attorney said he told defense counsel right from the start because of the nature of this case, he was not open to reducing charges or recommending lesser sentences.
Nine of the alleged victims of her theft were in attendance, as well as Gustwiller’s family and friends.
The range of money stolen in the indictment is $7,500 to $37,500. No specific dollar figure has been released.
Because of so many cash donations made, Matuszak said “tracking down who lost what is a virtual impossibility.”
The dollar figures obtained were from those who paid by check and who otherwise have proof of their donation.
Gustwiller remains free on her own recognizance pending the resolution of this case.
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