SHERMAN (February 18, 2011)—Two men who stole a Torah from a Texas synagogue and dumped the sacred scroll in a trash bin have been sentenced to probation.
A judge sentenced James William Wilsford and Derrick Randall Nelms over the October 2009 vandalism to Temple Beth Emeth in Sherman.
Both pleaded guilty to theft over $20,000 and were sentenced to three years in prison, but the judge probated the sentences for 10 years.
Wilsford and Nelms each must pay $3,000 in restitution, do 400 hours of community service and complete a nine-month drug treatment program in a locked-down facility.
The men also were put on 10 years of deferred adjudication probation for criminal mischief.
Temple members in November 2009 held a burial cemetery at a landfill where the Torah was thought to be.