A Leavenworth pastor has been sentenced to a year of probation for passing worthless checks.
Jimmie L. Hancock, 52, was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court for three felony counts of giving a worthless check.
"I apologize to the community," Hancock said during his sentencing hearing.
He also apologized to the victims and his family.
The crimes occurred in 2011 while Hancock was serving as the pastor of Greater Miracle of Faith Church.
In August 2011, Hancock approached the owner of a Lansing residence about renting the property. Hancock moved into the residence in early September 2011. He provided a rent check for $1,500 in mid September 2011. The check was signed by an unknown church member. The check did not clear because of insufficient funds. Hancock moved out in mid October 2011, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.
In November 2011, Hancock approached the owner of another residence in Lansing about renting and purchasing the home. Hancock provided the owner with an “earnest” check for $1,060 that same month. The purchaser of the property was to be the Greater Miracle of Faith Church, and the check was signed by two unknown church members. The check was to be used for rent. Hancock moved into the residence. The check did not clear because of insufficient funds.
The property owner contacted Hancock numerous times to resolve the situation, but the defendant never made good on the check, according to Thompson.
Also in November 2011, Hancock inquired about renting another property in Lansing. The property was shown to him and his wife Dec. 2, 2011. The following day, he presented two checks to a third party who represented the property owners. One of the starter checks was for $1,496.75. It was signed by an unknown church member. In mid December of that year, the third party was notified by the property owners that the check did not clear because of insufficient funds. Hancock lived in the residence until Jan. 19, 2012, according to Thompson.
Hancock initially faced nine counts of giving a worthless check and making false information but he pleaded no contest to three charges in June.
In court Friday, District Judge Gunnar Sundby suspended an eight month prison sentence and placed Hancock on probation for a year.
The judge said, by law, the case was a "presumptive probation" case.
Hancock already was free on bond at the time of his sentencing.
Assistant County Attorney Christopher Scott said one of the main things the prosecution is looking for in the case is payment of restitution.
Sundby said the defense and prosecuting attorneys and a court services officer had conflicting information regarding restitution. The judge scheduled a restitution hearing for Aug. 30.
Page 2 of 2 - "You have three different offerings and I'm not satisfied which is correct," he said.
Hancock's attorney, Timothy Dupree, suggested the parties could reach an agreement about restitution ahead of the hearing date.
Sundby said he hopes that is what happens.