Monticello - Liberty man gets prison time, fine for possessing stolen Torah

A Liberty man was sentenced in Sullivan County Court Thursday to prison for possessing a Torah stolen last December from the Landfield Avenue Synagogue.

Judge Mike McGuire sentenced Christopher Colvill, 41, to 3 to 6 years in prison and fined him $5,000. McGuire called Colvill “insensitive” for taking the sacred scroll in a scheme to obtain a $6,000 reward. No members of the synagogue attended the sentencing.

The Torah, valued at around $35,000, was stolen along with about $200 in charity money from the synagogue around Dec. 30. After a multi-agency police investigation, it was found undamaged on Jan. 24 at a home where Colvill was staying.

Colvill, who has a lengthy rap sheet dating to 1989, was suspected of stealing the Torah but never charged with the burglary. He pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of stolen property in May. 


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