Eastville woman sentenced for stealing checks from friends

November 9, 2023

By Linda Cicoira

An Eastville woman who was initially indicted on 34 criminal charges involving illegal money transactions in 2022 was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison with all but a year suspended.

The crimes committed by 58-year-old Juanita Gutierrez-Llanes, of Elkington Road, involved forgery, uttering, and obtaining money by false pretenses. Gutierrez-Llanes worked at two friends’ homes and stole checks belonging to the other women. She pleaded guilty in a bargaining agreement to 14 charges.

The defendant cashed the checks at El Ranchito Restaurant in Eastville and B&B Market in Machipongo. She paid back $7,085 in restitution. Judge W. Revell Lewis III ordered her to pay the remaining $1,620 and unspecified court costs by Dec. 31, 2026.

“This was so needless,” Judge Lewis said. “I suspect if you had just asked to borrow the money, they would have lent it to you.”

“I’m really, really sorry for what I did,” the defendant said. “I’m really, really sorry for what I did to my best friend. I know I did wrong.”

In another case, 27-year-old Kelsey Miranda Ayres, of Joynes Neck Road in Accomac, pleaded guilty to a count of uttering a check she knew was forged in March of 2022. She was sentenced to five years in prison with all but time served suspended. Her plea was part of a bargaining agreement. The crime involved six checks for a total of $810 that belonged to the now-late Nelson Farlow for whom she worked. Authorities said she and another defendant committed the crime to buy drugs. Ayres has since gone to rehab and is drug-free.

     Twenty-nine-year-old Christopher Stanley Collins, of Norfolk, was sentenced to five years in prison with three years suspended for possession of a firearm by a felon. Collins was stopped on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for speeding. An officer smelled marijuana coming from the car and eventually, a firearm was found in a search. Collins was allowed to remain free until after Thanksgiving so he could spend the holiday with his grandmother.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

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