The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

July 7, 2014

Judge rejects deferred judgment

CLINTON — A District Court judge denied a deferred judgment request from a Clinton woman who defrauded the Iowa Department of Human Services for thousands of dollars over a more than 15-month period.

Judge Mark Lawson told Aquila Harris, 33, 3026 N. Second St., on Thursday that he did not feel a deferred judgment was appropriate. Harris pleaded guilty to first-degree fraudulent practices, a class C felony, which can carry as much as 10 years in prison, on May 29. Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow recommended a suspended prison sentence, as per the plea agreement, but resisted the defendant’s application for a deferred judgment.

According to court documents, Harriss fraudulently told the DHS that her four children lived with her between Jan. 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013, when they actually lived with their great-grandmother in Rockford, Illinois.

During this time period, she was issued $11,655 in assistant benefits for which she was not eligible, according to the affidavit.

Defense Attorney Barbara Manness asked Lawson to consider a deferred judgment, pointing out that her client has only one other serious charge in her criminal record — a charge of third-degree theft, for which she also received a deferred judgment. She added that Harris is “committed to making changes in her life,” including finding a job and receiving her high school equivalency.

“This was a time when she desperately needed money and she knows what she did was wrong,” Manness said.

Harris told the court that she realizes her actions were wrong and she would like a chance to prove she can be better. She added that her actions have ruined her life.

“I’ve learned trying to take the easy way out (is not good),” Harris said. “I stole money to get me somewhere and it got me nowhere.”

Lawson pointed out that the defendant did not defraud the DHS for a month or two to get on her feet, but instead continued this practice for almost 16 months.

Text Only
Local News
  • Boats collide on Mississippi River in Clinton

    A boating collision late Saturday in Clinton caused a closure of the Mississippi River to boating traffic.

    July 27, 2014

  • O'Malley O'Malley visits Clinton amid talk of presidential run

    Martin O'Malley's latest foray into Iowa began, appropriately, in a place called Clinton.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCJCC heading toward new jail facility referendum

    The Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission is continuing its path toward the construction of a new jail facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police seek assistance in Fifth Ave. shooting investigation

    A shooting that occurred Friday morning in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue South remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 Football field Football facility receives makeover CAMANCHE — Camanche School District administrators expect updates to the high school football facility to be completed next week.Camanche Superintendent Tom Parker said crews have worked to make sure everything is complete before next week’s Clinton

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concurrent terms ordered in burglary case

    CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve four concurrent prison terms for his role in a string of 2012 burglaries.Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers on Thursday requested the court to order Cory Mitchell, 38, to serve as much as 10 years in pri

    July 25, 2014

  • Dominant image Drying out CAMANCHE — It’s not been ideal summer for Rock Creek Marina and Campground staff members.A constant battle with the Mississipapi River’s flooded waters and the wreckage it has left in its wake has prevented the group from opening the campground to gu

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • District tries to attract prison workers FULTON, Ill. — While the renovation process at the Thomson, Illinois, Correctional Center has yet to begin, a few high-level management positions have already been filled.Filling those positions are people, and most importantly to the River Bend Scho

    July 25, 2014

  • New tourism position denied FULTON, Ill. — With the unexpected departure of former Tourism Director and Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Bennett, the city of Fulton has worked for the last two months to pick up the pieces and fill the void she left behind.One option was to

    July 24, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.