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AUBURN — It's been two years since Brandon Hinman admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from his family, but now the Army veteran is headed to prison. 

On Thursday, the 34-year-old Weedsport native pleaded guilty to two violations of probation in Cayuga County criminal court with Judge Thomas Leone. 

Leone had initially sentenced Hinman to five years probation in June 2015. At the time, Hinman had pleaded guilty to two felonies — third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument — for stealing nearly $50,000 from his family. That money had been raised following the premature birth of his twin daughters and the unexpected death of his wife, Jenna, in 2014. 

In court Thursday, Hinman admitted to violating the terms and conditions of his probation. He told Leone that he failed to report to his probation officer and failed to abstain from drugs earlier this year, using opiates and cocaine on a daily basis in March and April. 

"A lot has happened in the past three to four years, but it's time to move forward," Hinman said. "I just want to take full responsibility for my actions." 

According to Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann, Hinman was also behind on his restitution — although defense attorney David Elkovitch said Hinman was up to date on his payments. In addition, Budelmann said Hinman had missed several court dates and tampered with urine tests in felony treatment court. 

"It's a sad day," Budelmann said in court. "A veteran who served our country stole from his infant daughters. He has repeatedly thumbed his nose at the court. ... But ultimately the truth came out." 

But Hinman said there is more truth to be told. 

"I'm not this monster that Cayuga County has made me out to be," he said. "Some of these things that come out in the media aren't true. ... There's more to my story." 

In the end, the judge said Hinman was not the father he could have been to his daughters, who Hinman has allegedly seen approximately 90 hours since 2015. He also noted that this was Hinman's second violation of probation; his first happened in December 2015 when he was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license. 

"I firmly believe you can be more of a father than you are," Leone said. "In all honesty, you haven't done anything I've asked you to do." 

Hinman was sentenced to two to six years in prison on each count. Both sentences will run concurrently to one another. 

Meanwhile, Hinman's in-laws could be seen hugging one another after court. They did not wish to comment on the case. 

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Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr. 


Crime and Courts Reporter