Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Legal Situation Has Been Resolved

I'm Mark Ludwig Stinson.  I'm a 44-year-old husband of fifteen years and a father of three.  Up until recently, I was a Sergeant on the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.  This was a career I was dedicated to for a total of eighteen years.  I am also a Heathen and the Chieftain of a kindred in the Midwest called Jotun's Bane Kindred.  I have served in that position of responsibility since 2007.  We host two open gatherings here in our region, including Lightning Across the Plains, and we attend many other gatherings in the Midwest hosted by other kindreds.

At the beginning of July of 2012, I learned I was being charged with a crime regarding my handling of a joint bank account I had with my mother's during my time as her Power of Attorney.  For the past eleven months, I have worked with my attorney to find the best possible resolution to the situation.  In order to avoid any possibility of jail time away from my wife and children, today I agreed to a plea bargain that involves me paying back every dollar that the State believes I spent inappropriately.  This agreement involves a Suspended Imposition of Sentence, which means that technically it is not a conviction in Missouri and I will avoid becoming a felon.  When I have completed my scheduled payments of restitution, it will become a closed record...and go away.

Considering the media attention this case initially received because I was a police officer, the resolution of the matter that was put in place today seems the best possible result that could be found.  My mother's needs will continue to be met.  She lives in a large comfortable log home in the country that she owns free-and-clear.  My brother's family lives there in her home with her.  She has money in the bank, money coming in from government benefits, and the money coming in from my restitution payments.  So, she should have very little worries monetarily.  The terms of my bond prevented me from talking with my mother for the past eleven months, but I was able to speak with her today after court.

Bad situations and conflicts arise in our life, both big and small.  Sometimes they can be resolved easily and in private.  Other times, they are difficult to resolve and become very public.  All you can do is face them head on and attempt to resolve them as honorably as you can.  From my earliest meetings with my attorney, those were my instructions to him.

I am very pleased to have this legal situation resolved.  I have a family to raise and a life to live.  I have a new job and I'm working hard.  I have a new book in the works.  I have a number of carved wooden statues that I've started, and a number of wooden hammers that I'll be finishing in the coming months.  I plan to write more modern Heathen fables, and I will continue my practice of having those translated into as many languages as possible, so they can reach as many children as possible.  We have many gatherings and friends across the Midwest to visit in the coming months. I'm hopeful that having this legal matter behind me, will allow me to be even more focused on my family, our kindred, and our efforts.

Jotun's Bane Kindred will continue to move forward with our friends by our side.  Our free resource website will continue to grow.  Our gatherings will grow and improve, and our bonds of friendship will increase in number.  We will publish more books, create and share more resources for Heathen children, and we will continue to be measured by the things we do for our families, our community, and our Folk.

Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods