According to the Star-Banner, Circuit Judge Hale Stancil says Bellcase, who is 41 and a single mother, will face no more than two years in prison if she enters an open plea to the court. The judge is not sympathetic to the pleas of Bellcase's attorney or Big Sun officials.
"You're talking about a substantial amount of money," Stancil told the parties Thursday. "If you can steal $50,000 and get probation, doesn't that send a message out it's no big deal?"
The trial date is set for the week of May 18.