Bone-Theft Defendant Pleads Guilty In County Case

By
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter


Updated Tue, May 20, 2014 1:51 pm

An Athens man who has already been sentenced on federal charges pleaded guilty Tuesday to an unrelated charge in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

Weston Moquin, 29, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice in exchange for dismissal of one charge and reduction of another.

The original charges in the case were felony obstructing justice and misdemeanor abusing of harmful intoxicants. Moquin was arrested May 31, 2013, for huffing canned air at the Athens Walmart.

In his plea agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor's Office, Moquin's guilty plea was entered in exchange for dismissal of the abusing harmful intoxicants charge and reduction of the obstruction of justice charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Assistant Prosecutor Meg Saunders said when Moquin was found by police, he attempted to "take another hit" from the can, and when police attempted to take the can, he attempted to wrestle the can away from police in order to take another hit.

Moquin pleaded guilty May 13 in federal court to interstate transportation of stolen goods and theft from a program receiving federal funds.

The thefts occurred between May 2011 and September 2012 at Ohio University's Heritage School of Osteopathic Medicine, where Moquin had been an anatomical assistant. Items stolen included loose human bones, skulls, skeletons, plastinated human remains, autopsy saws and other materials that had been purchased by the university as teaching aids, according to previous Athens Messenger reporting.

Moquin sold the items through his eBay account and received $84,684 for the items, according to court records.

In the bone-theft case, Moquin was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution equal to the full amount he received from the thefts.

His defense attorney said Moquin had "essentially committed thefts to support his drug habit," the Messenger previously reported.

In common pleas court on Tuesday, Moquin told the court he has been sober for more than a year and is hoping to get his life back together again.

"This was something that I'd done a year ago that I am ashamed of," Moquin told Judge George McCarthy.

McCarthy said he was impressed with Moquin's ability to maintain his sobriety, even giving him a one-year sobriety chip during the sentencing hearing.

"You've paid a hefty price in your other case in federal court," McCarthy said. "Hopefully you have, as you've said, learned your lesson."

The judge sentenced Moquin to two years of non-reporting probation, as recommended by Saunders, for the misdemeanor conviction. A 90-day jail sentence and a $750 fine were suspended.

Moquin will likely serve his federal sentence at a minimum security prison in Morgantown.

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