A Mitchell woman was sentenced to roughly six and a half years in prison on Tuesday for committing identity theft, grand theft and forgery, all of which are felony charges.
Lyndsay Hawk, 34, appeared in court during the felony court proceedings for her sentencing hearing in connection to the four felony charges she previously pleaded guilty to, which include identity theft, forgery, grand theft in the amount of more than $5,000 and less than $100,000 and another count of grand theft of more than $1,000 and less than $2,500. She was sentenced to 17 years, but 10 years were suspended.
The grand theft charges stem from Hawk stealing a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup that occurred on April 24 and stealing over $1,000 in merchandise from Walmart in December 2015.
Following the vehicle theft, on June 12, Hawk passed three forged checks to several gas stations in Mitchell. According to the police reports, Hawk passed two separate checks at Cubby’s gas station in the amounts of $75 and $100. On that same day, Hawk passed another forged check to Casey’s General Store in Mitchell in the amount of $50. In total, the three forged checks she passed that were illegally drawn from Great Western Bank accounts came out to $225. Hawk also stole $400 from another individual on June 12.
Forgery is a Class 5 felony and carries a maximum punishment of up to five years in prison along with a $10,000 fine. Hawk was sentenced to five years in prison, with three years suspended for the forgery charge.
Prior to First Circuit Court Judge Chris Giles sentencing Hawk, she gave emotional testimony of her life circumstances that she said have led her to drug use. After Hawk’s son, husband and mother died in recent years, she said dealing with the pain from the losses of her loved ones has driven her to use drugs. Hawk said the drug use eventually led to the recent theft and forgery crimes she committed.
“I admit that I am a full blown addict, and I need help. I just ask that you please let me go to a long-term care treatment,” Hawk said. “I want to show my kid and all of you that I can be a good citizen, and share my story to help other addicts.”
Hawk was also ordered to pay restitution to fees for the crimes. If Hawk shows good behavior while incarcerated, she could be released on parole after roughly four years of incarceration, Giles said.
“Ms. Hawk, I believe what you are telling me, and I think you are being very sincere today, I think you do want to change,” Giles said to Hawk. “You’re an addict, and you acknowledged that you need help. You have so much potential, but you let the addiction get in the way. But you have avoided the help we are trying to give you, and then you absconded and took off.”