Gant Daily: Former Lottery Winner Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Coal Company

CLEARFIELD, Pa. – A former lottery winner has pleaded guilty to repeatedly stealing from a coal company in Clearfield County Court.

Ricky Lee Hutton, 57, 624 Colorado Rd., Munson, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and deviant trespass.

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He was sentenced to 45 days to one year in jail and one year consecutive probation. He was fined $500 plus costs and ordered to pay more than $21,000 in restitution to the A.W. Long Coal Company.

Hutton was told that the company wants him to pay $750 per month toward the restitution because he won $1,000 a week for life through the lottery. He explained that he only gets payments annually of $38,000, which go to pay his house payment and property taxes.

His attorney, Ronald Collins, noted that $7,000 has already been paid and there is another case of theft from the coal company. He said it wasn’t sure all the restitution ordered was Hutton’s responsibility. Judge Paul Cherry suggested Collins file a motion regarding the restitution amounts and payments.

The charges stem from an incident in August and September of 2013 in Morris Township. According to the affidavit of probable cause, the owner of A.W. Long Coal reported to police that many items have gone missing from a Hawk Run site over the past few years.

The owner was able to get videos and photographs of Hutton removing the items from his property. A list of these showed a total value of more than $25,000. The items included heavy machine parts, flat and angled steel, brake drum, water pump, drag bucket hitches and many other things used in the coal stripping industry. The owner told Hutton in person to stay off the property.

Hutton was questioned by police in September of 2013. Initially, he denied involvement. But when he was given a voluntary search request form, he stated that most of the items the officers were looking for were behind his house near the woods line. He admitted he has a problem with stealing and was unsure of what he had taken from the site. He said some of the items he had taken were sold for scrap.

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