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Official's Husband Sentenced for Theft

December 05, 1998|TRACY WILSON

The husband of a Moorpark councilwoman has been sentenced to nine months in jail and five years' probation for stealing thousands of dollars worth of gems from a jewelry store.

William Teasley, 39, pleaded guilty to two charges of grand theft in September for taking a one-carat diamond and a diamond cluster ring from Anderson Jewelers in Moorpark.

Authorities say Teasley, claiming he wanted to learn the gem trade, persuaded store owner Dave Pardo to let him observe Pardo's work. Soon, Teasley began stealing jewelry and prying gems from their settings, authorities said.

Although Teasley has no prior criminal record, Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Peace said the sophistication of the crimes warranted a jail sentence. She asked the court for a year in County Jail, but Superior Court Judge Donald Coleman decided on nine months.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, defense attorney Frank White urged Coleman to impose no jail time. White said his client suffers from a manic-depressive disorder and needs psychiatric help. Teasley's wife, Councilwoman Debbie Teasley, filed for divorce after his arrest.

"I was trying to prevent him from going to jail, because he needs long-term care," White said Friday.

But the judge believed Teasley had "betrayed trust and deserved some jail time," White said. Coleman, who also required Teasley to seek psychiatric care, ordered the defendant to begin serving his jail sentence Jan. 5.

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