LIMA — A man who professed his innocence after police accused him of using the name of a dying child to collect money for himself was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail.
Christopher Kerby, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of theft. Two other counts of theft and a count of receiving stolen property were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Lima Municipal Judge William Lauber ordered Kerby serve 30 days in jail for each count of theft, consecutive to a case in another county. Kerby also was ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined.
Kerby solicited door-to-door in Shawnee Township and at businesses in late November and early December, telling people he was collecting money for a child with terminal cancer.
“I was just trying to help a little girl. That’s the way I am,” he said shortly after the allegations were made.
Shawnee Township Police Chief Mike Keith said Kerby was collecting money for himself. Kerby solicited checks for up to $25 in his name or his wife’s name, Keith said.
Kerby said he had an agreement with the family he was trying to help, but Keith said the family didn’t agree to anything with Kerby.
“She is dealing with a terminally ill child,” Keith said. “She has not received any money from him, nor was she promised any.”