Mother gives emotional statement during daughter’s sentencing, ‘I love you, Andrea’

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Mother gives emotional statement during daughter’s sentencing, ‘I love you, Andrea’

Andrea Lent wipes away tears while listening to her mother speak to Judge Kelly Cottrill about the crimes committed against her.

Andrea Lent wipes away tears while listening to her mother speak to Judge Kelly Cottrill about the crimes committed against her.

Andrea Lent wipes away tears while listening to her mother speak to Judge Kelly Cottrill about the crimes committed against her.

Andrea Lent wipes away tears while listening to her mother speak to Judge Kelly Cottrill about the crimes committed against her.

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

A 39 year-old woman who victimized her mother and others in order to fuel her drug habit was sentenced to four years in prison following a statement from her mother which ended with the mother turning to her shackled daughter and saying “I love you, Andrea.”

Monday afternoon, Andrea Lent appeared in the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas for her plea hearing and sentencing. Lent pleaded guilty to 12 felony charges that resulted from stealing various items.

Lent and her husband, Chad Lent, 41, committed a string of crimes between September 2018 and May 2019.

Toward the end of the couple’s crime spree, a woman that did not know the couple and was unaware of their crimes attempted to help them out by allowing them to live with her.

The result of the arrangement was the couple forging checks to themselves from the woman, claiming they were payment for completing housework, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ron Welch said in court.

On May 16, Lent attempted to cash a check from the woman at CheckSmart. An employee from the establishment contacted the owner of the check to verify if the $320 check was valid, to which the woman said it was not.

By the time police arrived, the couple had fled.

It was discovered that another check belonging to the same woman, totaling $670, had previously been cashed.

The first string of events that Lent and her husband were tied to resulted from the defendant’s mother taking in the couple and their three children in 2018 following the death of her husband, Lent’s step-father.

Lent and her husband lived in a camper trailer on the property while the children lived inside the home with their grandmother.

Following their arrival, Lent’s mother caught her attempting to cash two checks that did not belong to her. Lent apologized for the mistake and promised to never do it again.

In June 2018, Lent’s mother moved to another part of Ohio and continued to let her daughter and the family live on the property while the mother paid the bills for the home.

Lent’s mother received a call from her granddaughter one day stating that Lent and her husband had taken a television from the house.

The mother visited the home to find that many items from the property were missing, including a chainsaw, televisions, jewelry, a spotting scope, generators, refrigerators, drills, an Xbox belonging to the children and other items. All of the missing items were pawned in order for Lent and her husband to obtain drug money, Welch said. Many of the items were later found at pawn shops on Maple Avenue and Putnam Avenue.

By that time, the couple had left the property to live out of their car leaving their older child, who was in their early twenties, to take care of the two teenagers.

After discovering all of the missing items, Lent’s mother began to get past-due credit card statements on cards that the duo had taken out in her name. There were also charges on online paying software that were in the mother’s name.

Lent also admitted to stealing checks from her late step-father who died before the family moved in with her mother.

During her hearing, Cottrill questioned Lent about her drug use. She told the judge that she smoked marijuana a few times when she was a teenager, but her more consistent drug use began about 15 years ago when she started taking pills.

According to Lent, she took prescription pills from her husband and continued to use pills until a couple of years ago when she started using both methamphetamine and heroin, which she said became her drugs of choice.

“I will always love my daughter,”  Lent’s mother said while making a statement before the court.“I just don’t like the way she’s been for the past four years since she started using drugs.”

Lent chose to waive her pre-sentence investigation during her plea hearing and proceed to sentencing Monday.

“I want her to get help to get back to the way she used to be,” Lent’s mother said explaining that Lent used to be a good mother and daughter.

After Lent’s mother explained to Judge Kelly Cottrill that she still loved her daughter despite the disappointment in her life choices, Cottrill sympathized with the woman stating that many parents of the people he sees would say the same things.

“She wasn’t raised this way,” the mother said. “She knows better.”

Before parting from the courtroom floor, Lent’s mother requested that her daughter be allowed to contact her while in prison. Due to the criminal status of their relationship, Lent was not permitted to contact her victims, which her mother said she did not believe was in her daughter’s best interest.

Cottrill lifted the communication restraint.

Prior to sentencing, Lent pleaded guilty to the following 14 charges which were separated between two cases:

  • Two third-degree felony counts of identity fraud between $1,000 and $7,500 with an elderly victim
  • Two fourth-degree felony counts of telecommunication fraud between $1,000 and $7,500
  • Two fourth-degree felony counts of misuse of a credit card $1,000 to $7,500 with an elderly victim
  • One fourth-degree felony count of identity fraud less than $1,000 with an elderly victim
  • One fifth-degree felony count of telecommunication fraud less than $1,000
  • One fifth-degree felony count of misuse of a credit card less than $1,000 with an elderly victim
  • One fourth-degree felony count of theft $1,000 to $7,500 with an elderly victim
  • One fifth-degree felony count of theft of checks
  • One fifth-degree felony count of forgery
  • One fifth-degree felony count of receiving stolen property (check)
  • One fifth-degree felony count of forgery by uttering

In addition to her four-year sentence, Lent was also ordered to pay $7,376 in restitution.

Chad Lent pleaded guilty to similar charges in the two separate cases on Nov. 13 including:

  • One fourth-degree felony count of attempted identity fraud $1,000 to $7,500 with an elderly victim
  • One fifth-degree felony count of telecommunication fraud less than $1,000
  • One fourth-degree felony count of theft $1,000 to $7,500 with an elderly victim
  • One fifth-degree felony count of receiving stolen property (check)
  • One fifth-degree felony count of forgery by uttering

His bond was continued while he awaits sentencing.