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IN COURT: Man convicted of fraud receives 5-year sentence

July 11, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Health concerns were not enough to keep a man out of jail who was convicted of home improvement fraud.

Wearing a back brace, and walking very slowly, George A. Martin appeared in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday and received a five-year sentence for home improvement fraud, a Class C felony.

Judge James Heuer ordered Martin to serve one year of that sentence at the Whitley County Jail, two on home detention, and the last two on probation.

Martin’s attorney, Jill Gonzales, argued health concerns were too great for her client to spend any time behind bars.

“We’re not going to do any good putting him in jail where the state of Indiana is going to have to treat him for his illnesses,” she said. “He has severe back problems, severe heart problems and emphysema.”

In his sentencing, Heuer questioned Martin on the validity of his health issues.

“When I see you in the courtroom, you look rather frail,” he said. “At Star Bank you didn’t look frail cashing the checks on security footage.”

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