Sentencing of former sports club treasurer delayed

The theft sentencing for the former treasurer of the Mohave Sportsman's Club was postponed Thursday until July.

Walter Lloyd Tester pleaded guilty April 30 to one count of felony theft with an Alford plea.

An Alford plea allows a defendant to plead guilty to a charge without admitting to have committed the crime.

Tester had been charged with theft, forgery and fraudulent schemes and artifices, all felonies.

Because of a backlog of cases, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss postponed Tester's sentencing until July 8.

Tester is not in custody.

Under the plea agreement, Tester must pay restitution of approximately $35,000 with $5,000 paid up front.

If Tester makes the payments, a six-month jail sentence will be suspended, Deputy Mohave County Attorney Lee Jantzen said.

Tester's co-defendant and wife, Joan Tester, who served as the club's president, passed away in August.

She had been charged with felony theft and fraudulent schemes and artifices.

The Testers, who held their posts at the club for about two and a half years, were charged with stealing about $29,000 from the club.

The theft occurred between May 1999 and March 26, 2002, court records show.

Walter Tester provided incorrect treasury reports to the club, court records state.

The couple resigned from their positions in April 2002 just days after a criminal complaint was filed against them in Kingman Justice Court.

If tried and convicted of theft and fraudulent schemes, Tester could have received up to 12 and a half years in prison on each charge.

The forgery charge could have resulted in a three-year, nine-month sentence.

The Mohave Sportsman's Club reportedly has more than 800 members and is based at the Seven Mile Range, a 722-acre gun range on Oatman Road, which is used by law enforcement officers as well as the public.

The club, which has been in existence since 1936, is made up of hunters, anglers and sport enthusiasts.