Meadville Tribune

July 29, 2011

One of 'Most Wanted' sentenced to up to 14 years

By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A Venango County woman who was featured by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office as one of its “Most Wanted” has been sentenced in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to six to 14 years in state prison.

The lengthy prison sentence for Kristine Estep, 43, whose last known address was 2007 Lake Creek Road, Cooperstown, was handed down Thursday by Judge John Spataro. It was the third time Estep had been sentenced on two counts of felony counts of forgery that date back more than a decade.

The charges are for crimes committed back in 1999 through 2000, according to Paula DiGiacomo, first assistant district attorney for Crawford County. Estep had committed forgery valued at more than $16,000 from a Vernon Township convenience store where she worked at the time, DiGiacomo, said.

Estep was originally sentenced in 2006 to serve only two months on house arrest/electronic home monitoring to be followed by a lengthy period of supervision. Estep violated that sentence in 2009, and was resentenced to three to 12 months to be followed by a lengthy period of supervision. She again violated her parole conditions and fled, DiGiacomo said.

Estep was apprehended in April 2011 in Cleveland.

Estep also was sentenced for yet another bad check crime on July 12 by Judge Anthony Vardaro. She received four to 12 months for that crime.

“Thanks to the diligent efforts of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, and especially Deputy Sheriff Neil Fratus, Kristine Estep has been brought to justice,” DiGiacomo said.

Estep will be required to finish paying more than $16,000 in restitution that she still owes to the victim in this case, DiGiacomo said

The “Most Wanted” feature has been published Tuesdays in The Meadville Tribune since the fall of 2010.