Addict cleans out jewelry boxPublished 4:47pm Monday, October 1, 2012
A Niles woman who cleaned out a client’s jewelry box while tidying the house received 60 days in jail with 14 days credit and was ordered to pay $2,258 Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.
Marla Jane Francis, 46, of South 13th Street, stole more than $15,000, her victims reported to police.
Larceny in a building is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Travis said Francis is not the first drug addict to take advantage of elderly people to support her habit.
Francis has been battling a dependence on prescription painkillers for 10 years.
“Your addiction is driving your behavior,” said Judge Dennis Wiley, pointing out she has selfishly chosen to not deal with it or to care how it affects other people’s lives.
“Either get control over this, or we will have to get control over you. Your choice,” said Wiley, who also ordered Francis to complete a 90-day stint in the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program, which operates residential and nonresidential programs for adult offenders as a community-based alternative to incarceration, offering the opportunity and structure for men and women to take personal responsibility for their lives.