Man pleads guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from retired York County pastor

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch

A Conewago Township man who managed the finances of a retired pastor pleaded guilty Friday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the ex-pastor. 

Robert "Butch" Redmond, 58, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of theft by deception involving finances of the Rev. Albert Davidson Jr., a former pastor at several York County Baptist congregations. 

The retired Rev. Albert C. Davidson Jr., seen here in his room at a rehabilitation facility in Doylestown, Bucks County, in November 2020.

Redmond's plea was negotiated with the York County District Attorney's Office, according to court records. Prosecutors dismissed another felony theft count in exchange for the guilty plea. 

President Judge Maria Musti Cook sentenced Redmond to three years of probation. Cook also ordered Redmond to pay Davidson more than $37,400 in restitution, in the form of monthly $300 payments. 

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'It's unfortunate': A family friend said the DA's office spoke to him ahead of time about Redmond's likely sentence. 

"They did the best they could, legally," Jonathan Stayer, who holds the current power of attorney over Davidson's finances, told The York Dispatch. "I think (Davidson) feels that, basically, we got about the best outcome we could expect given the circumstances." 

Albert Davidson, from left, of Spring Garden Twp., Voni Grimes of York City and Eric D. Smith of York City takes part in a recent York County Gospel Choir rehearsal at the Church of the Open Door in West Manchester Twp. Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. The group recently came out with their first CD. Randy Flaum photo

Davidson, who is in his early 70s and in poor health, lives in a Doylestown, Bucks County, rehabilitation care facility. His Spring Garden Township home burned down in 2015, and he received a $68,000 insurance payout through the estate of his late wife, Alfreda, who died in 2008. 

Davidson's failing health forced to him to start living in care facilities. He had befriended Robert Redmond and his wife, Kelly Ann Redmond, before the house fire, and Davidson eventually trusted the couple enough to give Robert access to his bank account and give Kelly his power of attorney. 

Law enforcement got involved after it was learned that the $68,000 had been moved from Davidson's account into a joint account owned by Robert and Kelly Redmond, according to charging documents. About $30,700 was used to pay for Davidson's care, but bank records did not indicate that any of the remaining $37,400 was spent on Davidson's care.

Kelly Redmond was not charged with a crime. 

Davidson wants to move back to York County — which he has called home since moving to the area in 1989 from Oklahoma — but doing so is a difficult process, Stayer said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic meant moving to a new facility wasn't possible. Doing so now remains a challenge. 

"The Area Agency on Aging told me we need to find a facility that would accept Medicaid and would be able to handle his particular needs," Stayer said. "Those two things coming together are quite difficult."

Added Stayer: "I just feel it's unfortunate Albert’s at where he’s at, and the outcome was what it was. If he had all the money he had five years ago, he’d probably still be in York County close to his friends and familiar places."