McKinney Wedding Planner Arrested for Felony Theft
A McKinney wedding planner, Tina Pope, has been arrested for third degree felony charges of theft. Police allege that Pope took money from several couples to act as their wedding planner. Instead of planning the weddings authorities believe she simply used the money for her own purposes and had no intent to fulfill her obligations as a wedding planner. It is alleged that pope required money to be paid up front to reserve vendors and the criminal investigation revealed the money was spent on personal items.
In order for the prosecution to be successful authorities will have to prove this is a criminal case and not a civil dispute. To do that the state was prove to a jury that Pope intended to commit theft when she first took her clients money. Bank and business records will be key evidence in proving criminal intents. The defendant’s statements in emails and text messages could also be critical especially if they show Pope being dishonest.
Pope’s attorney will have to show there is no real criminal intent, just a business deal gone south. Pope’s own statements could pose a problem for the defense. Apparently she has made statements to reporters who first broke the story. The defendant speaking to the press rarely works in their favor.
The range of punishment is from 2 to 10 years in prison or up to 10 years probation if the defendant has no previous felony convictions. It doesn’t appear Pope has any previous convictions so it wouldn’t be uprising to see her wind up with some type of probation if the prosecution prevails.