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Pleas differ for brothers with theft charges

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Phillip Gordon
Arrested Monday for allegedly taking and using a debit card without permission, two brothers from Brazil are taking very different paths through the legal system.

Phillip R., 20, and Joseph R., 19, Gordon were booked into the Clay County Justice Center on one class D felony theft charge each after confessing to their involvement to Sgt. Mark Loudermilk of the Brazil City Police Department.

When the two men appeared for formal charges Wednesday, according to the CCJC and the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, that's when things changed.

Joseph appeared in Clay Circuit Court without an attorney and pled guilty, waiving his rights to a pre-sentencing investigation or report.

Using the state's advisory guidelines, Judge Joseph Trout sentenced Joseph to the Indiana Department of Corrections for 1 1/2 years, with all suspended except 10 days, allowed good time credit (if earned) and credited Joseph for one day previously served in jail.

Trout told The Brazil Times that three factors of mitigating circumstances were crucial in helping him determine the sentence:

Joseph Gordon
* Joseph admitted guilt "remorsefully" upon his first appearance in court,

* He provided information valuable to the case, and

* He had no prior criminal record.

Jail officials took Joseph into custody and returned him to the CCJC. If he successfully completes the sentence, Joseph could be released from jail sometime Sunday.

Trout ordered Joseph to serve 18 months probation upon his release, of which the first nine months will be formal and the remaining time will be informal.

Joseph was also ordered to reimburse the victim's expenses within 30 days, pay court costs and serve 40 hours of community service.

However, Phillip appeared in Clay Superior Court, and pled not guilty.

Judge Blaine Akers accepted the plea and set a pre-trial conference for Feb. 2, and a tentative jury trial for Aug. 6. Phillip was returned to the CCJC on a $7,000 cash bond with 10 percent allowed. Jail officials confirmed Phillip remained incarcerated as of press time awaiting further court proceedings.

The case came to light when the unidentified victim found unauthorized expenses on a bank statement and reported their belief that the brothers might have been involved.

Loudermilk confirmed to The Brazil Times the ATM video from the banking institution was collected as evidence in the case.

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I went to school with Phillip and this doesn't suprise me at all.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 7:41 AM

great job clay county you got another 2 crinimals off our streets keep up the good work

-- Posted by tylera1989 on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 6:30 PM

I don't think I would have pled guilty at first either because he probably could've gotten it down to a lesser charge.

-- Posted by ape1 on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 8:32 PM

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