Texas Men Who Stole Then Trashed Torah Sentenced

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.



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