Former county worker gets probation in theft of more than $40,000
Emerine also ordered to pay back $42,451

Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

June 18, 2004 -- A former Hopkins County employee who was fired from her job as criminal intake officer for Hopkins County Attorney's office in connection with the disappearance of more than $40,000 accepted a plea agreement in 8th Judicial District Court Friday.

Kristi Lynn Emerine was sentenced to 10 years probation with deferred adjudication, and was ordered to repay $42,451.34 at a rate of $360 per month to Hopkins County.

Emerine was initially charged with a second-degree felony, but the plea agreement dropped the offense to a third-degree felony.

Emerine will also be required to pay a probation fee of $40 per month during the term of her sentence, $278 in court costs, and perform 160 hours of community service at a rate of 16 hours per month. She was also ordered to pay a $50 Crime Stoppers fee within 60 days.

If the former county employee fails to meet any of the requirements of her probation or fails to make any of the payments ordered by the court, she could face prison time ranging from two to 10 years.

Hopkins County Attorney Dusty Rabe said she had not been notified of the plea bargain.

"I have not been notified of an offer," Rabe said. "I have been notified that she pled this morning, but we were not contacted to be there for the plea -- I wasn't notified."

Emerine, 29, of Edgewood was fired in late September after Rabe received information indicating Emerine may have abused her position in the office to access the money.

An audit of the Hopkins County Attorney's office in October confirmed that more than $46,952 was missing from the department's accounts, and Rabe asked Sulphur Springs police to look into Emerine's activities.

Emerine was arrested in October on a warrant alleging theft of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, an offense enhanced from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony because of Emerine's position as criminal intake officer for Hopkins County Attorney's Office.

She was indicted on the second-degree felony theft charge in March by a Hopkins County Grand Jury.

Emerine had remained free on $25,000 bond since her arrest on the felony charges.

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