San Juan man heads back to prison for felony theft

A San Juan Island man with a lengthy criminal history — and who recently duped a relative into cashing a pair of stolen checks — was sentenced to 366 days in prison for felony theft.

On Sept. 12, Christopher Richard Hansford, 34, pleaded guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree theft, a Class B felony, and was ordered to serve one year and one day in prison.

He was also ordered to pay $1,600 in fines and fees, in addition to $8,852 in restitution, which, according to court documents, he has already paid.

It's the second time in the past three years Hansford has been charged, pleaded guilty to and been convicted of multiple felony theft offenses. He served a 22-month prison term after being convicted of a trio of felony theft and felony burglary charges in 2005.

Taken into custody in late August, he was credited with time served in jail while awaiting trial on the recent felony charges.

According to court documents, Hansford admitted that he stole blank checks from a pair of homeowners that had hired him earlier in the year to do remodeling work on their respective homes. He reportedly forged their signatures and then convinced a relative to cash the two supposed "work checks" by using her local bank account.

A Class B felony, first-degree theft carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both. However, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 12-14 months in prison.

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