A reportedly homeless man was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday in Garland County Circuit Court to felony charges involving forged checks from a sheet metal company.
Joshua Dale Patterson, 45, who listed "city streets" as his address at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree forgery and was sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison, with four years suspended, on each count, and to theft of property over $1,000 and failure to appear and was sentenced to the maximum of six years on each count, all to run concurrently, for a total of six years in prison.
Patterson was also ordered to pay restitution and $190 in court costs in full within 10 days of his release from prison. According to court records, Patterson was convicted in 2012 in Benton County of possession of a controlled substance, theft by receiving and theft of property and sentenced to six years in prison, with all of it suspended.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on Sept. 15, 2021, Southern Bancorp employees reported a forgery that had occurred on Sept. 14 shortly before 4 p.m. at the bank's 2212 Malvern Ave. branch.
A man had attempted to cash a check made out to him for $2,751.17 from Blytheville Sheet Metal Inc. The man provided a driver's license identifying himself as Joshua Patterson and the check was written to Patterson.
The employees were suspicious and contacted the company and a representative stated they did not issue the check and did not know Patterson. The bank employees told Patterson to leave and seized the check.
It was later discovered that around 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 14, Patterson had successfully cashed a check for $2,432.64 from the sheet metal company at the bank's 4138 Central Ave. location.
Hot Springs police Detective Matthew Cheatham contacted Blytheville Sheet Metal Co. and confirmed they had not issued either of the checks made out to Patterson and noted the two check numbers used were still in their possession.
They provided a voided copy of one of their checks and Cheatham discovered there were "noticeable differences" between the ones used by Patterson and the real checks from the business.
Upon reviewing security footage from the bank, Cheatham was able to positively identify Patterson and issued a warrant for his arrest on Oct. 12. He was taken into custody on June 17 and was released on $3,500 bond on July 26. He failed to appear for his arraignment on Sept. 6 and a warrant was issued and he was arrested again on Nov. 1 and had remained in custody since then, pleading not guilty to all the charges on Dec. 7.