Probation anticipated for New Holland woman convicted in Petland theft

A New Holland woman who said police recovered a stolen guinea pig and Oxycodone from her purse now awaits sentencing on two felony cases.

Sheila Speakman, 38, appeared Tuesday on two fifth-degree felony charges of possession of drugs and theft in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas. She entered a guilty plea in each case and is now required to check in with the Fayette County Adult Probation Department leading up to her sentencing scheduled for Oct. 16.

Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said during the hearing that the presumptive sentencing in the cases is probation.

The possession of drugs charge was filed after Speakman walked into Petland, 1355 Leesburg Ave. in Washington C.H., and placed a brown and white guinea pig in her purse and walked out of the store without paying.

A Petland employee reported to the Washington C.H. Police Department April 8 that Speakman’s purse “was much fuller” on her way out than it was when she came into the store. The employee checked the store’s surveillance video and said, “She put something in her purse around where we keep the guinea pigs.” The employee went to check on the guinea pigs and reported the brown and white one was missing, according to reports.

WPD caught up with Speakman in the parking lot outside and arrested her for theft. Upon a search, Speakman was found to be in possession of seven Oxycodone pills that police said she didn’t have a valid prescription for, reports said. The Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) showed Speakman had not filled a prescription for Oxycodone in several months.

Speakman was arrested and held in the Fayette County Jail for misdemeanor theft and felony drug possession.

In a separate case heard Tuesday, Speakman admitted to stealing items from a person she was living with.

A Snow Hill Road resident reported Speakman stole power tools and diamond jewelry from their residence in November of 2016. The victim was able to recover some of the tools from area pawn shops, according to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, but reported that some of the jewelry has not been found.

The victim is requesting restitution and the court said the amount will be determined at Speakman’s October sentencing.

Speakman stated she is attending drug treatment and counseling at Fayette Recovery. Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, ordered the probation department to gather additional information on Speakman’s history and compile a pre-sentence investigation ahead of the hearing.

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By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching for @ashbunton