Eley enters Alford plea in theft from youth wrestling program

A woman who served as treasurer for the local youth wrestling program entered an Alford plea on Oct. 11 to a class A misdemeanor of stealing less than $500.

Michelle Nicole Eley had been charged with a class C felony in a February 2016  warrant alleging the theft of $5,700 from accounts of the Owensville Kids Wrestling Club.

Under the Alford plea agreement accepted this past Wednesday by Gasconade County Associate Circuit Court Judge Brehe-Krueger, Eley did not admit the theft, but acknowledged that the prosecution could likely prove the charge. Brehe-Krueger pronounced Eley guilty and sentenced her to two years in jail with a suspended execution of sentence provided she completed 730 days of unsupervised probation and perform 60 hours of community service. Eley is to begin her community service by Nov. 10.

Eley previously completed a felony diversion program following a conviction in Washington State from 2012 after stealing more than $14,000 from an elementary school parents teachers organization. She made a partial reimbursement in that case.

A coach for the local club said Eley had made  “only a partial” reimbursement in 2016.