A roofing contractor avoided a prison sentence Thursday but was ordered to pay more than $15,000 in restitution to customers who paid him for work he never completed.
Christopher Barnes of 7862 Braeburn Ct., Holland, entered an Alford plea June 23 to theft from an elderly person or disabled adult. In an Alford plea, the defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges the evidence could result in a conviction.
He was found guilty by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros, who dismissed three counts of theft and one count each of grand theft and telecommunications fraud as part of a plea agreement.
“The main goal in cases like this is to try to get people their money back,” said Frank Spryszak, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor. “If we ship him off to prison, that’s not going to get their money back.”
Judge Mandros placed Barnes, 40, on community control for five years and ordered him to pay $15,087 to four victims. Barnes, who owns Barnes Construction Cos. Inc., must pay at least $4,000 by Dec. 1 or he will be sent to the Lucas County Work Release Program for six months, the judge said.