LIMA — A man who scammed people out of money as a door-to-door salesman tried his best Wednesday to give a sales pitch to the judge to get out of jail.
Judge David Cheney didn’t buy it and made sure Joshua Hinshaw knew it.
The judge sentenced the 22-year-old man to six months in jail while telling Hinshaw he is lucky the law doesn’t allow him to send low-level, non-violent felons to prison.
Hinshaw was sentenced on two felony counts of theft from the elderly, which he pleaded guilty to last month. He has served about half his jail time and will have two years probation to complete upon his release, which he may do out of state, where he’s from.
The judge ordered Hinshaw pay $226 in restitution. Police found at least six people from whom he took money.
Police said Hinshaw claimed to be collecting money for the Shawnee High School baseball team to take a trip to Florida.
Hinshaw’s sales pitch to Cheney began to unravel when he starting naming other scam artists he was working with after telling Cheney moments before he couldn’t remember or didn’t know everyone’s name.
“You say you tried to change your life, tried to be honest with me, and now you’re giving speeches to every question I ask. That’s some sort of sign of deception right there, and maybe you didn’t learn the lesson,” Cheney said.
Hinshaw apologized several times and said it bothered him that people didn’t see him as honest. He said he was a young man who was going down a bad path, but jail helped turn his life around.
“I was using drugs at the time,” he said. “I’m a young man, and what I did was wrong.”
Cheney was doubtful Hinshaw was sincere. He questioned Hinshaw on the other people who he worked with and wanted to know how they picked Lima.
Hinshaw said he met the group in Tennessee and traveled with them to Ohio, where one of the leaders decided to try the Lima area. He said the day he was caught was his first day in Lima, and he had only been out knocking on doors for five hours.
Cheney asked Hinshaw if it was likely there were other victims who did not come forward out of embarrassment, which Hinshaw said yes.
“I knocked on many doors,” he said.