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2 x 4's for Hope founder changes plea to Theft charge

2 x 4's for Hope founder changes plea to Theft charge

2 weeks, 4 days ago by Scott Hardy

Mark Lawrence enters Alford plea in settlement; sentenced to probation

A founder of a Quincy-based organization that builds tiny homes for veterans has admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him on a charge of stealing from the organization, and won't go to prison.

Mark Lawrence was in Adams County Circuit Court Wednesday, where he entered an Alford plea to one count of Theft over $10,000. An Alford plea is where Lawrence doesn't admit guilt, but does admit that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him at trial. The plea was part of a settlement with prosecutors. In return, they dropped a more serious count of Theft over $100,000. After the plea, Lawrence was sentenced to 24 months' second-chance probation. He'll also have to pay over $43,000 in restitution. Lawrence was indicted in May 2022 on the counts, and was accused of receiving over $100,000 worth of tools that were donated to 2 by 4's for Hope by manufacturers between 2019 and late September 2020. Lawrence then sold some of the tools to retailers, and kept the money.

In November 2021, the 2 by 4's for Hope Board of Directors fired Lawrence and his wife, and filed a restraining order against the couple. A hearing in that case is set for later this month.

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