The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 22, 2014

Clinton man guilty of writing bad checks

By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer

---- — CLINTON — A Clinton man pleaded guilty last week to two counts of second degree theft for writing false checks to two local business.

Michael J. Halsted, 33, of Clinton admitted to Clinton County judge Mark Lawson to writing several bad checks from his closed account to Fareway and Casey’s General Store in Clinton, committing both offenses between May 27 and Aug. 11.

Halsted admitted to writing the false checks with the knowledge that the account had been drained of all funds when he purchased the merchandise from the local retailers.

Both charges are class D felony offenses because the checks amounted to more than $1,000 but less than $10,000, and because he is a habitual offender, Halsted could face up to 15 years in prison without parole and be required to serve at least three years.

Prior to his court appearance Thursday, Halsted last visited the Clinton County District Courthouse in December for writing bad checks to the Clinton Liquor and Convenience Store totaling more than $1,000 and exchanging the items he bought for drugs.

Halsted stated that his actions were fueled by a growing drug addiction and judge Henry Latham ordered him to three years of court supervision and time in a residential corrections facility where he would undergo mental health and drug evaluations and treatment.

Because he admitted he had a drug problem and made the promise to seek treatment, Halsted’s attorney Derek Jones suggested that his sentence run concurrently with the December sentencing with the addition of paying restitution fees to Fareway and Casey’s General Store.

Halsted’s sentencing for both felony counts of second degree theft will be issued at 9 a.m. Feb. 6 at the Clinton County District Courthouse.