- Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 15:06
- Published on Thursday, 20 June 2013 15:06
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Circuit Court Judge H. Martin Bass has sentenced Robert Ray Crouch to five years in prison, fined him $35,000 and ordered him to pay more than $84,000 in restitution for defrauding customers of the former Meadow-Brooke Memorial Gardens cemetery.
Crouch, 47, was convicted by a King George Circuit Court jury on March 22 of nine counts of failure to deposit in the proper trust account and five counts of receiving money by false pretenses. The March jury recommended the sentences handed down by Judge Bass.
At his sentencing, Crouch's attorney, Michael Brickhill of Lynchburg requested that five character witnesses, including Crouch's parents, his son and his girlfriend, testify before sentencing. All five testified to Crouch's work ethic and said he was responsible.
Neither Judge Bass nor King George Commonwealth's Attorney Kwri Gusmann was buying it. "Mr. Crouch was accused and convicted of a despicable act," Gussman told the court. "He stole from people who were at their most vulnerable point."
"Back in March when Crouch was on trial, it was clear that the jurors took their responsibility seriously. After listening to over 35 witnesses and reviewing 40 pieces of evidence the jurors found the defendant guilty. They then came to a thoughtful decision on punishment," Gusmann said in a statement after the sentencing.
"Juries are the conscience of the community and this was a crime against the King George community. They have spoken and Judge Bass honored the jury’s commitment to justice and imposed their will in imposing the 60 months of incarceration, $35,000 fine and ordering the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $84,420.51."
"I am hopeful that by being able to secure this conviction, the victims and their loved ones will now have some closure," Gusmann said.