PLAINVILLE - A Southington man has been arrested again, this time for not going to court to answer to charges he stole a ring worth thousands of dollars from a family member.
Steven Oliver, 30, could have avoided a felony conviction had he gone into custody on bond on his last scheduled court date, on Feb. 28, state prosecutor Jeffrey Lee said Monday, during a hearing in Bristol Superior Court.
Oliver was arraigned Monday on one felony count of failure to appear. He had already been facing an additional felony count of third-degree larceny. During the hearing, his bail was set at $15,000.
According to Lee, Oliver had previously been offered a plea bargain that would have required him to plead guilty to a felony. The deal involved probation and no prison time.
Oliver’s attorney was later able to convince Lee to allow him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, but Lee insisted he serve 30 days in jail, while held on bond, as a penalty. After the two parties agreed on the deal, Oliver didn’t show up to court in February to turn himself in, Lee alleges.
Lee on Monday said the plea bargain offer is no longer on the table.
According to the warrant for Oliver’s arrest, his mother, a Plainville resident, reported to police in January 2016 that her $4,000 engagement ring had been stolen. She told police she suspected her son was responsible, as he has stolen from the family in the past, including jewelry from her. The engagement ring that was most recently stolen was a replacement, as the original one was also stolen by Oliver, the warrant said.
During the investigation, the warrant said, other family members reported thefts - including a hunting knife and two GPS devices - some of which was recovered after they were pawned by Oliver.
Additionally, police found and recovered the missing engagement ring. Detectives allege Oliver sold it to a pawn shop for $100 and admitted to his mother over the phone that he had taken it.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.