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Monday, May 2, 2016

Judge turns down plea agreement

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sonya Stroud
On Monday, Clay Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers turned down a recently negotiated plea agreement on behalf of Sonya M. Stroud, 40, Brazil.

According to paperwork filed with the prosecutor's office, Stroud allegedly exerted "unauthorized control" over more than 100 company checks used to repay expenses incurred by over-the-road truckers without the permission or knowledge of her employer.

In court, Akers said each of these separate incidents, which allegedly date back to January 2004, could potentially be a forgery charge. Stroud is charged with taking approximately $280,000 from Brazil Trucking, Inc.

Although some of the transactions were not charged due to the statute of limitations, the missing funds during a 10-year period totaled close to $500,000.

Citing the previous negotiated plea agreement was too lenient and there were no criteria or time schedule in place for the defendant to make restitution repayment, Akers turned down the agreement and set the matter for jury trial on Aug. 24.

Abiding by trial rules and Indiana case law, Stroud was allowed to withdraw her previous guilty plea after Akers denied the plea agreement.

Stroud was remanded back into the custody of the Clay County Justice Center to await further court proceedings.

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Another good ruling by judge Akers.clay county should be proud that we have a person like judge Akers on the bench.please keep up the good work.

-- Posted by checkmate on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 8:21 PM

How about a plea that makes her pay half of the money she stole before she gets out of jail. She NO different than all of the druggies who are addicterd to meth that are sent to DOC. She has an addiction just like they do, both are illegal and my own opinion she is just as bad if not worse because she had 10 years to straighten herself up. She was old enough to know that if she could not control her sticky fingers she should've taken herself out of that situation. Just like everyone says druggies should not put themselves in their situation. She not only committed crimes she lived one HUGE lie. If she can live one big lie for that long, what else is she capable of lying about?!? I personally donot see how she could still that much money and her husband not know, not that I am rich but I make close to what she averaged to steal per year (50,000) and I do alot with my money, how could that much income go unnoticed. I'm sorry but if her spouse paid no more attnetion to her than that maybe instead of satisfying her loniless by being a thief, she should've considered a differnt partner. I'm not for anyone going to DOC, but I think she needs some help. If she done this over 10 years and couldn't stop how's 3 years on house arrest or whatever the plea propsed going to help??

-- Posted by ape1 on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 8:43 PM

I really wish the vast majority of the people who post here would learn to spell and use proper punctuation instead of spending their time bashing others. This is like reading the script for a Jerry Springer show.

-- Posted by OmegaMan69 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 7:11 AM

I agree with OmegaMan69. Those of you who comment on these articles bashing others need to find something more constructive to do with your time. There is no one in life who is PERFECT!

-- Posted by JustAnotherCitizen on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 7:27 AM

Well, OmegaMan69 you are doing some bashing yourself. I have noticed that most people do not proofread when blogging or sending e-mail. That does not mean they are illiterate. Back to the news story. True, none of us are perfect but hopefully most of us don't steal $500,000 from our employers. I agree with checkmate, good ruling.

-- Posted by indianamama on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 7:49 AM

Mrs. Stroud should have to work for Brazil Trucking Inc. for zero annual salary until the entire debt is repaid. Her work would obviously have to be closely monitered, but the humiliation of facing her former employer every day for several years, and working for no pay would be better than going to jail. It would also be the only way Brazil Trucking Inc. will ever recoup any substantial amount of money in this case.

-- Posted by ucantbserious on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 8:01 AM

I agree with the one poster,if she was payed 50,000 a year ( or whatever it was that she made at the time ),then she should have to work free for the trucking company,till its paid.

the problem with that is ,you would then have the ACLU,Humans rights groups,showing up every day with signs protesting the horrible embarrasment she is having to take on a daily basis.If they did give a judgement like this ,I say also that they put a court order in affect.


-- Posted by T-REX on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 9:44 AM

Where did all of the money go? Into her home, or

vacations? She is getting the vacation that she

earned! Enjoy it! You deserve it!

-- Posted by busymomandstudent on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 9:49 AM

Yes, I can spell and punctuate, but Omeegaman69, I did not know that this was an English class, excuse me. These blogs must be entertaining or why are you bothering to waste your time reading? I know everyone does stupid things, I have too, but to continuously so it over 10 years, that's too much. I read one article where this lady was buying expensive baskets, vacations and everyhting else. I'm sorry if her hubby is so naive about his finances that he doesn't notice that they can't afford things yet they have them, then he needs help too. I'm all for her doing something to pay the money back, even if she has to stand out on I-70 with a sign like the homeless people do. She is a BIG THIEF and I think she needs alot of counseling or else she'll be right back in the same shoes. She admitted that she was a shopping addict, and just like drug addicts, she is SICK and needs punished but most of all she needs help. I'm very sure her family is embarrassed, how could they not. She couldn't expect not to get caught, I personally think that everything that she owns needs sold and repaid to her employer also. I can't stand a theirf, because not only are they thieves they are LIARS, in her case a habitual one at that.!!!

They already cut her breaks, remember each check could be a felony charge adn she got charged with only 3 or 4 cases. See her to Bloomington mental hospital for some help.

-- Posted by ape1 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 10:22 AM

Wow, I rest my case.

I cannot stand a theirf either!

You say you can spell but then misspelled the following:

my name: OmeegaMan69, lol (Laugh out Loud)

everyhting, too funny

alot: (that is actually two words).


adn: is spelled and

You also added a period before three exclamation points.

I recommend that you slow down and relax when typing. I give you a C+.

-- Posted by OmegaMan69 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 1:11 PM

Good grief!

So what if someone makes a few typing errors. We got the general idea of the message.

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 2:38 PM

What ever happened to calling a sin a sin. I love to shop and do it a lot but I don't steal from my employer to cover my shopping trips and yes if you want you may call it an addiction although I don't see it that way. Let's call a spade a spade and not find excuses for every theif coming down the pike. This woman was bright enough to get away with theft for many years and she knew what she was doing but like most thieves they think they will not get caught. She got caught and she has to pay for the decision she made when she decided to start down the road of deceit and thievery. The justice system worked right this time around.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 8:42 PM

Suspended sentence, probation, house arrest and pay the stolen money back with interest. NO FREE RIDES!

-- Posted by Occupant PNW on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 10:13 PM

Let's leave it up to the court to decide the fate of Mrs. Stroud. Everyone is getting carried away here stating their opinions on what they think should be done when it's the decision of the court. In these comments, I read praises for Judge Akers. Just let him do his job. The law has the situation under control, and I'm guessing they do not need the help of fellow patrons. From reading the Brazil Times, it sounds like Mrs. Stroud realizes she did wrong. Who are we to judge her?

-- Posted by JustAnotherCitizen on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 10:38 PM

Excuse me, I am not "getting carried away". I am however exercising free speech, calmly and peacefully with fellow Americans (yourself included). Sharing thoughts and opinions are still acceptable and very important parts of our freedom as Americans; especially, when invited to do so, as we have been here.

Regarding the honorable Judge Akers and local law enforcement, perhaps they would prefer to speak for themselves. Then, that would relieve you of the responsibility of having to "guess" how they may or may not feel about this and other matters.

In closing, it appears to me that folks here are sharing thoughts and communicating. This can be very healthy, both personally and for the better of the community. For my limited experience Mother was right, "two heads are better than one". Finally, and for the record, I am very much about mercy and not judgement. Thank you.

-- Posted by Occupant PNW on Wed, May 6, 2009, at 4:11 PM

well said!!

-- Posted by ape1 on Wed, May 6, 2009, at 4:21 PM

I would like to respond to "ape1" and say that it isn't fair for her children or husband to suffer (by selling their things) in order to pay for a mistake the mother made.

I do like the idea of making her work for free .. but BTI wouldn't feel comfortable (would you?) having her there. Maybe carrying a sign out front of the building - 8 hours/day saying "I stole money from BTI and it's employees. I'm a thief." Yeah, I know - the ACLU would have a field day with that one - but it sounds good!! ; )

I can tell you with utmost certainty that the spouse who DOESN'T handle finances in the relationship realizes that there are PLENTY of people frugal enough to 'make ends meet' and save money at the same time. There are also good deals on vacations .. he probably trusted his wife (like BTI did) to do the right thing with regard to their finances. They both learned a very hard lesson.

Best of luck to the families who have had to endure the shame and embarrassment. My hearts go out to you all.

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, May 7, 2009, at 8:56 AM

I agree! Her family should not have to pay for a crime she committed! She did own up to what she did! But I still say there is more to this than what is being said. I also think she is covering for other people that may have been involved. And as far as her sentence goes it really should fit the crime. There are some who have said she is no different than any other thief out there, and that may be true, but i have read in some cases they didn't hardly recieve any jail time, and never had to make restitution (and that was there third or forth time in trouble.)I could name quite a few names but I won't. You need to remember this is her first time in trouble. I personally think she would be punished far worse if she was required to work and pay all that money back. I really am praying for a fair sentence and most of all for her family because they are the ones who are really suffering even more than the company BTI.

-- Posted by some1ispraying on Thu, May 7, 2009, at 9:59 PM

Yes, I feel bad for her family, but they all benefitted from the money she stole. Maybe it's cold, but if she was a drug dealer got suspected of buying assests with the money the law would seize their stuff and sell it and she is NO different. I don't think her kids should be punished but, you know SHE put her family in that position-time and time again. Why should she be allowed to walk out of jail to a nice place to live when she could potentially caused someone else to be homeless because she stole money and the company couldn't keep them as an employee? Yes, this maybe her first time in trouble, but it went on years before she got caught. Her actions affected alot of people, I'm sorry but she should knew some day she'd get caught. Seems to me if I were married to someone who lived one big lie, I'd reevaluate my situation. i hope she does get help. I think it will take years for her to be rehabilitated, she is ill, just like a druggie or a gambler. I also say let her go talk to the kids at schools and tell them what happens when you steal!!

-- Posted by ape1 on Thu, May 7, 2009, at 10:33 PM

Believe me, ape1 .. her family IS being punished. Try being a child going to school with other children whose parents grew up with Sonja and hear their parents talk about what happened around the dinner table.

Try being a husband who has tried throughout his marriage to be a supportive influence, both physically and financially. Her actions most certainly DO affect her husband, her children, her parents, her siblings .. her city.

Sad part about all of this is that no matter how long she spends in jail, no matter how much restitution she makes .. this will follow her for the rest of her life (as it should).

We're known by the best we do .. and the worst we do .. unfortunately or fortunately .. the worst always ends up in the papers.

I can't begin to imagine what it's like to be the family of Sonja right now .. or her friends. The betrayal in this case is huge .. as it is with those families of BTI (and BTI) who lost their money and their livelihoods. But please .. PLEASE .. let's voice our opinion in a respectable way (and I'm as guilty as anyone) and remember that every one of us has done something we are ashamed of .. it just didn't always make the papers. It's hard enough to live in this town with a "squeaky clean" image .. much less one that is tarnished.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, May 8, 2009, at 7:44 AM

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