Hill-Rom employee found guilty of Selling Stolen Property, tools
Nearly two years after a Hill-Rom employee
was confronted about selling company tools on a popular auction
website, eBay, he was found guilty in Ripley County Superior Court
of those crimes.
According to information from the Ripley County Prosecutors
Office, a jury returned a guilty verdict last Friday, convicting
Neil M. Stinger, 32, of Connersville, for Selling Stolen Property.
The verdict came after a two-day trial that was prosecuted by
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ryan King.
The first day of trial, jurors would hear from Katy Fudge, human
resources representative for Hill-Rom. She told how she confronted
Stinger about selling company tools on eBay. Stinger denied that
the tools belonged to Hill-Rom and said they were his own personal
Further testimony revealed that on the same day Stinger was initially
confronted, he brought a box containing eight tools to Fudges
office. Those tools were identified by Jeff Bessler, former employee
of Hill-Rom, as belonging to the company. Bessler was a Manufacturing
Engineer/Weld Expert. He testified that he was able to find a
5 stamp on one of the tools, which was significant because there
was only one employee with a 5 stamp. Bessler then testified that
the 5 stamp on the tool in question perfectly matched the 5 stamp
used by the company employee.
The second day of trial a former employee of Hill-Rom, positively
identified the tool with the 5 stamp as being a tool he used while
working at Hill-Rom.
Batesville Police Detective Mike Benjamin testified that he had
followed up on Fudges investigation by first requesting
to meet with Stinger, which was denied him by the defendant. The
detective did track Stinger down and told those in the courtroom
last week that Stinger admitted he was responsible for the grinding
marks on the tools. But, he told the detective that he ground
either his name or initials off one of the tools, again claiming
the tools belonged to him personally. He said he was just grinding
on them to get them cleaned up for sale.
Stinger took the stand in his own defense. He testified that two
of the tools were not his and that he thought that someone had
mixed the 5 stamp tool in with those belonging to him. He also
said he had a receipt for some of the tools, but was not able
to produce the original receipt.
Two union representatives also testified on Stingers behalf
and said there were no markings on the tools to prove they belonged
to Hill-Rom. The representatives even questioned how these marks
The confusing trial had twists and turns but Ripley County Prosecutor
Ric Hertel said he was pleased that the jury was able to see through
the differing stories of the defendant. Hertel noted that the
Chief Deputy did an outstanding job exploiting Stingers
inconsistencies and presented a solid case on the States
behalf. He further commended the investigation done by Hill-Rom
Human Resources and the Batesville Police Department, along with
the professionalism shown by several former company employees
throughout the process.