Micah J. Hale

Micah J. Hale

DECATUR — A Decatur building contractor appeared in court Wednesday pleading not guilty to defrauding a customer of more than $9,800.

Micah J. Hale, 41, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Macon County Circuit Court and then denied one count of fraud.

Judge Jeffrey Geisler put the case on the trial list of Judge Thomas Griffith but was told by Hale’s attorney, Bradford A. Rau, that a plea deal for Hale was “completely negotiated” and the case could be disposed of quickly.

Geisler took note of that and scheduled the case for a possible disposition hearing before Griffith on July 12.

A sworn affidavit about the charge from Macon County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Hoffman said the contractor had signed a contract do a bathroom remodeling job for $19,871.53 on July 10. Hale's firm, MH Construction, was paid an almost 50 percent deposit, or $9,871.53.

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“Since the contract, Hale failed to show up to work and had not done any work stated within the contract,” said Hoffman. “(The homeowner) and his wife did meet with Hale at businesses to select materials for the job; however, Hale failed to purchase, hold or order the items with the businesses."

Hoffman said by August the homeowners began asking why work wasn’t starting and were fobbed off with excuses. They called police Sept. 7 and Hale told officers he had manpower shortages and promised to refund the money.

After more requests from the homeowner for repayment went unanswered, Hoffman said the decision was made to arrest Hale. He remains free after posting $10,000 bond. A condition of the bond orders Hale to have no contact with the homeowners.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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