A former Red Cross worker who stole a $25,000 donation check to the nonprofit and tried to use it for herself has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Nondi I. Gurley, 31, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Tim White to misapplication of her fiduciary responsibilities and with using a co-worker's Red Cross credit card to buy personal items at Wal-Mart.
She also pleaded guilty to two cases of bail-jumping after absconding following her arrest in 2009 on the charges.
Gurley, a former marathon runner who had worked for a string of nonprofits in Texas and Illinois, spoke quietly and politely during her sentencing Wednesday.
Prosecutors Taylor Ferguson and Christy Jack said the prison sentence should send a message not to prey on social service agencies.
"When disasters strike, the Red Cross is at the front line," Ferguson said. "They placed a lot of trust in Nondi Gurley. She violated that trust and stole from her co-workers and the Red Cross and their donors."
Defense attorney Samantha Hill said Gurley did not want to go to trial on the charges.
"Obviously this is somewhat of a unique case because of the circumstances involved and the victims involved," Hill said. "She's anxious to serve out her sentence and get back to her family."
Gurley had faced a possible 10 years in prison on the charges.