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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defendant sentenced for stealing wallet from courtroom

  • A Leavenworth woman has been sentenced to two days in jail and a year on probation for stealing an attorney's wallet during a trial.
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  • A Leavenworth woman has been sentenced to two days in jail and a year on probation for stealing an attorney's wallet during a trial.
    Theresa E. Quest, 51, was sentenced Wednesday in the same courtroom where the crime was committed.
    The theft occurred Feb. 6 while Quest was attending the jury trial of John James Baskas in Leavenworth County District Court. County Attorney Todd Thompson said Quest was friend of Baskas' parents. The wallet belonged to Michael Mogenson, who was one of Baskas' attorneys.
    After taking the wallet, Quest used a credit card belonging to the defense attorney to make purchases at two stores in Leavenworth.
    Thompson said Quest took the wallet during a recess in the trial. He said the wallet had been on or near a brief case.
    The prosecutor said Quest was captured on video by a courtroom camera as well as cameras at the local stores.
    Quest pleaded no contest last month to misdemeanor charges of theft and criminal use of a financial card. She initially had faced a felony theft charge, but it was amended to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement.
    "I just want to apologize," Quest said during Wednesday's sentencing.
    Quest said she had been "very disrespectful."
    The defendant said she wanted to personally apologize to Mogenson, who was in court Wednesday.
    Quest's attorney, Michael Willcott, said his client was going through an emotional time when the crimes occurred.
    Mogenson said his wallet had been returned to him. He said it apparently had been thrown out on Fourth Street. Someone found it and turned it over to authorities.
    He said a gift card was still in the wallet when it was found but others had been removed. He said the defendant also had paid him back for a portion of the cash that was taken from his wallet.
    When imposing the sentence, District Judge Gunnar Sundby noted that Quest had no prior criminal record but said the theft was more than a usual theft.
    "It occurred right here in the presence of the court," he said.
    Sundby suspended all but two days of a one-year jail sentence and placed her on probation. He said Quest could make arrangements regarding when she serves the two days in jail.
    The judge also ordered Quest to pay restitution.
    Baskas was convicted in February of three drug charges and acquitted of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and additional drug charges.
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