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Longview woman charged in holiday gifts theft back in jail

By Sarah Thomas
Nov. 19, 2013 at 11 p.m.

A Longview woman, who got a second chance after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the theft of nearly $20,000 in Christmas gifts meant for area foster children, landed back in jail Monday.

Sarah Marie Adams, 48, was arrested Monday afternoon, charged with shoplifting $170 worth of merchandise from Dillards, according to police reports.

She is being held on $500 bond, according to jail records.

In October 2012, Adams was sentenced to eight years in prison for the gift burglary, another 10 years for burglary of a habitation, and two years for a charge of burglary of a building, according to Gregg County judicial records.

However, her attorney Tim Cone found a mistake in the charges and filed a motion for a new trial in March, according to documents released by the Gregg County District Clerk's Office.

The court amended her sentence to probation on all counts after her attorney noticed incorrect language in her plea agreement.

Adams' originally entered an open plea for stealing from a nonprofit organization - the gifts stolen in December 2011 from the Home Climate Storage in the 2000 block of Jahan Trail were donations that belonged to the Gregg County Child Welfare Board.

According to Cone's motion, the offense for which Adams pleaded guilty was a state jail felony instead of a third-degree felony. "Therefore, the sentence assessed is an impossible sentence under the applicable punishment range. A new trial should be granted in the best interest of justice."

Under the new sentencing, Adams received 10 years' probation for burglary of a habitation, five years' probation for burglary of a building and two years' probation for theft in the amount of more than $1,500 but less than $20,000, according to judicial records.

Because Adams' new charge is a violation of her probation, she could end up serving more than 10 years in prison.

<em>- Follow Sarah Thomas on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank">@SarahLNJ</a></em>



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