Plymouth man charged with stealing while working on home denied program

Published on Wednesday, 5 December 2018 19:30


BRISTOL - A Plymouth man charged with stealing thousands of dollars during a Bristol home improvement job was denied a program on Friday that would have gotten him out of jail and into a drug treatment facility.

Jonathan Shaw, 33, allegedly took about $5,500 while he was working in a home on Perkins Street in June, according to the arrest warrant. He faces one felony count of third-degree larceny in the theft, in addition to two other pending cases involving the allegation of drug possession and a failure to answer to the charges.

During a hearing Friday, the homeowner spoke before court officials and said he was not in favor of Shaw getting out of jail early. His wife, the victim said, is a cancer survivor who battled the dreaded disease for nearly two and a half years. Before the couple had money stolen from their home, the husband continued, his wife was a very trusting person, the type that would pick someone up off the side of the road and offer them a ride.

The theft from their home has changed her outlook, the victim said. The complainant added that, although he cannot prove it, he believes Shaw stole some of the many medications his wife has been on since her battle with cancer.

The victim was not alone in his objections. State prosecutor Ronald Dearstyne also said he believed a program for an alleged offender like Shaw would not be appropriate. Dearstyne read his previous criminal history aloud, which included convictions of sexual assault, failure to register, providing a false statement, possession of drugs, disorderly conduct and possession of narcotics.

Dearstyne said Shaw has had chances during his several previous arrests to seek drug addiction treatment. The prosecutor added that he can still receive treatment after serving a prison sentence.

According to the warrant, Shaw was one of two unsupervised men who did contract work in the home on June 5 and 6. His employer, after the theft was reported, suspected he may have been involved.

When he was confronted by police, the warrant said, Shaw admitted to taking the money from a wooden box in the bedroom of the home. He said he used the cash to buy drugs. Police wrote in the warrant that Shaw declined to make a formal, written statement. However, his admission was captured by the officer’s body worn camera.

Peter Matthews, Shaw’s attorney, argued on Friday that his client is in desperate need of treatment. He said his client was willing to plead guilty and enter a treatment program with the caveat that he would have five years in prison hanging over his head if he didn’t successfully complete the program.

Judge John Cronan, citing two pending failure to appear charges lodged against Shaw, rejected the request for a drug treatment program, saying he believes there’s a chance he could abscond from the program as soon as Saturday.

Shaw, who is being held on $7,000 bond, is due back in court on Jan. 8.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plymouth on Wednesday, 5 December 2018 19:30. Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2018 19:32.