Former OKC Pride President sentenced in embezzlement charge
By Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
Today, in the Oklahoma City courtroom of Judge Richard W. Kirby, the fate of Lori Honecutt’s 2018 crime of embezzlement was decided.
Charges were filed on Honecutt just after the OKC Pride events in 2018, and in September 2018, this Former OKC Pride President charged with embezzlement. In April of 2019, the Former OKC Pride president pleads “not guilty” to embezzlement charges.
After professing her innocence for nearly two years, Honecutt entered a blind plea for this crime in March of this year. For plea info, read Former OKC Pride President pleads guilty in embezzlement charge.
A blind plea is a guilty plea without a pre-determined or agreed-upon sentence. The prosecutor and the defendant agree that the defendant will plead guilty, but let the judge decide the punishment.
Honecutt did not receive jail time today but instead was handed down a 15-year deferred sentence, and during that time, she cannot hold a position, be it volunteer or paid, where she is in any way responsible for money. She was also required to make restitution for the money she stole from OKC Pride in 2018. The amount is $12,413.46. This amount is the sum the DA’s office was able to hold her responsible, and funds will go back to the organization from which it was stolen.
Judge Kirby looked Honecutt in the eyes and reminded her how close she came to going to jail today, adding, “This organization has already been through a lot as an organization trying to fight for rights. Every person they want on their board, and every person they want to hire, they will ask, ‘Is this another Lori Honecutt?’
“This goes far beyond a property crime.”
He turned to the attorneys and said, “Maybe I did not make myself clear. I never want her to hold a position or employment where she has the responsibility for money. Not while she is on probation. This is the only way I can make sure the public is protected.”
Honecutt had previously paid $7,500 of the $12,413.46 and brought another $4,500 to court this morning, falling short of the amount by $413.46. Honecutt’s attorney, David Slane, said he must have “misinformed” his client, which accounts for this shortfall.
Assistant District Attorney Kirk Martin had previously said, “If she is one-dollar short, she is going to jail. If I make a word [statement] like this, I am expected by the state to fulfill that word.”
However, Honecutt’s attorney said, “Are you going to hold up these proceedings for just $413.46?”
Another issue at hand…
In the courtroom today were two entities prepared to make a statement on how this impacted the community and why their organization should receive the money. These victims represent the OKC Pride Alliance and the 39th Street District.
ADA Martin reviewed the options in the case with the two entities/victims, and it was unanimous that Honecutt would be given more time to pay the small balance to the court.
The OKC Pride Alliance claims to have legally dissolved OKC Pride, and they are now performing the duties of OKC Pride. The 39th Street District claims the OKC Pride dissolution was not done lawfully and according to the bylaws of OKC Pride at the time. They plan to continue OKC Pride on 39th Street and feel they are the organization now performing the duties of OKC Pride.
You can find information on the decisions of the July 2018 OKC Pride board meeting to decide on the dissolution of that organization by reading: OKC Pride: To dissolve or not dissolve.
Judge Kirby did not have the jurisdiction to rule today on the allocation of the money, so, for now, the funds will remain with the DA’s office, and there will be a civil case to determine these claims and sort out how the money is disbursed.
As for Honecutt, she must have the $413.46 paid to the DA’s office by Monday, August 3, 2020, by 5 p.m., or her current sentence will be revoked, and she will go to jail for the entire sentence of 15 years.
Honecutt was allowed to address the court, saying, “I am guilty, and I’m sorry this happened.”
And it just goes on…
During the time of this trial, Honecutt, under the name Slider, was charged with “Obtaining property by trick/deception of false representation/pretense.” The date of the offense was September 05, 2019, but the charges were filed about three months ago on March 13, 2020. It was revealed today that this charge was for “use of a stolen check.” The victim was Anita Honecutt, the defendant’s former mother-in-law.
Under today’s agreement, Honecutt must also pay restitution for the above crime, but a due date for that $600 was not decided in today’s court.
Are you unclear on how this all began? Read:
OKC Pride in turmoil; shocking information revealed
OKC Pride update: report filed and more
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