The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

October 11, 2010

Babb sentenced to 8 years for theft from employers

ANDERSON, Ind. — Lori Babb’s past caught up with her Monday when Judge Thomas Newman Jr. in Madison Superior Court 3 sentenced her to eight years in the Indiana Department to Correction. A teary-eyed Babb, shackled and wearing an orange and white jumpsuit, turned to her husband, Kevin Babb, and whispered, “I love you,” before being taken back to the Madison County jail to await transfer to prison.

Two weeks ago, in a plea agreement, Babb pleaded guilty to five felonies for taking money when she worked for three Pendleton businesses — Dolphin’s Cove (tanning beds), Time and Space (storage units) and a U-Haul office — all owned by Jeff and Beverly Swackhamer. On the stand, Jeff Swackhamer said Babb took $18,000 from the business, but added that it was probably twice that high. He said that Babb’s stepfather had repaid the Swackhamers $10,000.

Babb’s attorney, Zaki Ali, seized on the uncertainty of Swackhamer concerning missing funds.

“Everything I’ve seen doesn’t add up to $18,000,” said Ali.

Swackhamer insisted that the money total is short of what was taken.

Before the sentencing, Babb read a statement apologizing to Swackhamer. During her 14 months in jail, Babb said she had found clarity.

“I was a liar and manipulator and never let anyone in. I’d become the woman I never wanted to be. Lies are my fortress. A fortress needs walls, and I built some.”

Deputy prosecutor Steve Koester said she wrote a nice statement, but added Babb has a credibility problem after stealing from Swackhamer then going to Panama City Beach, Fla., and doing the same thing at Solace Day Spa, owned by Jennifer Staerker who eventually had to sell her business because of what Babb had taken from her. Babb ended up in Bay County, Fla., jail but was sentenced to only time served when she went on trial. She was extradited to Madison County this summer.

“It’s hard to see a grain of truth in what she has to say,” said Koester.

Babb did have one backer in the court, her husband who took the stand and said Lori Babb didn’t do what she was accused of.

“My wife is a good person and a great mother,” Kevin Babb said.

In the audience, Beverly Swackhamer whispered, “Oh my God.”

Kevin Babb wanted his wife released to him. “I’d make sure my wife can’t do anything to get in trouble again.”

Koester took issue with Kevin Babb.

“Who is to blame for her being locked up?” asked Koester. “You’ve directly benefited from her ripping off her employers.”

Ali asked the judge for three years in the DOC.

Newman said mitigating circumstances were outweighed by aggravating circumstances before sentencing Lori Babb to eight years, the maximum under a plea agreement that had possible sentences for her five felonies reduced to run concurrently. Newman included in the sentence time served in Florida, which was about a year.

Ali said Babb would appeal the case with a public defender.

“I wish it was the full eight years,” said Beverly Swackhamer after Babb had been led away.

Contact Stephen Dick, steve.dick@heraldbulletin.com and 640-4863.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0425 - Block Party - JC 2 Learning block by block More than 45 toddlers and parents came to the Pendleton Public Library on Thursday to play with blocks. Although that seems like a fairly normal, everyday activity, the children were learning skills that will help them down the road.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Homeless man to be buried in Maplewood A funeral will be held at East Maplewood Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. today for Christopher Cook, a homeless man who died on April 17.

    April 25, 2014

  • Property tax deadline May 12 Almost 200 property owners have taken advantage of a new program implemented by the Madison County treasurer’s office that allows for monthly tax payments.

    April 24, 2014

  • City to celebrate Earth Day After a one-year hiatus, the celebration of Earth Day in Anderson will take place at Shadyside Memorial Park this Saturday.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0425 - Primary Clerk-Tim Nardoni Clerk candidates discuss service, vote centers A seasoned politician is facing a candidate who says he is prepared to tackle the “egotistical officials pursuing lawless agendas” in this year’s race for Madison County clerk.

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arrest Log: April 25 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 25, 2014

  • World War I battle demonstration at state park The Museum of 20th Century Warfare and the staff at Fort Harrison State Park will host a World War I battle demonstration at The Trenches at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Fort Harrison State Park. Another demonstration will be staged there on Sunday, May 4, at noon and 2 p.m.

    April 25, 2014

  • What's Where: April 25 Local meetings and activities are scheduled Friday.

    April 25, 2014

  • GOP-endorsed candidates lead in fundraising The candidates endorsed by the Madison County Republican Party in the upcoming primary are receiving more financial support for their campaigns than their opponents.

    April 25, 2014

  • South Madison offers 'cyber safety' program for parents From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Tmbler, the list of social media websites is long and seems to grow almost daily.

    April 25, 2014

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook