Hampton teacher indicted on two counts of theft

Published 9:24 am Friday, May 9, 2014

A Carter County school teacher who is currently on suspension from duties has been charged with two counts of theft following a Grand Jury presentation of the case against him.
Leon Curtis Tolley, a long-time teacher at Hampton Elementary School as well as the coach of the Hampton High School girls basketball team was served with a criminal summons on Wednesday charging him with two counts of theft property under $500, which is a Class A Misdemeanor.
Tolley was suspended from his teaching and coaching duties in December 2013 when the investigation into the alleged thefts began.
Investigators with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department presented the case to a Carter County Grand Jury on May 5 and a criminal summons was issued. The summons was served on Tolley on Wednesday May 7.
Since a criminal summons was issued an not an arrest warrant Tolley was not taken into custody and taken to the Carter County Detention Center for incarceration.
CCSD Capt. Rocky Croy stated that the charges stem from two incidents of theft of medication which were reported to the Department in December 2013.
“He got into another school teacher’s purse,” Capt. Croy said. “He took a total of three Lortabs (a prescription pain medication) and put some other medication back in.”
Capt. Croy stated that the evidence leading to the charges against Tolley was collected after a teacher reported items missing. He stated that when the teacher discovered that items were missing she spoke with the school principal and school employees then set up video surveillance of the area.
A laptop which had been set up to record and had the display screen blacked out was set up in the teacher’s room at the school. The recordings from the laptop were reviewed each day, Croy said.
According to Croy, the recordings show that on two occasions Tolley entered the room and retrieve medication which belonged to the victim. The two incidents occurred on December 11, 2013 and December 17, 2013. Once the videos were turned over to the Sheriff’s Department investigators interviewed Tolley regarding the incidents.
“We brought him in for questioning. He brought his attorney with him,” Croy said. “We interviewed him and he confessed.” Croy said that Tolley stated in the interview that he had taken the medication for personal use due to being in pain.
Tolley remains under suspension from his duties with the Carter County School system at this time.
“There has been no decision made on the status of his employment,” said Carter County Director of Schools Dr. Kevin Ward, adding that the Board of Education would review the situation and discuss what action if any should be taken.
Tolley is scheduled to appear in Carter County Criminal Court before Judge Stacy L. Street on May 27.

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