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Azle woman gets five years for stealing man's savings

FORT WORTH -- A 46-year-old Azle woman was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for stealing and misusing a mentally handicapped man's life savings.

On Thursday, a jury of eight women and four men deliberated about four hours before convicting Cynthia Sue Hardee of stealing between $20,000 and $100,000 from Johnny Bryant. The panel also convicted her of misapplication of fiduciary property for using Bryant's money in a way that did not benefit him.

During the weeklong trial in state District Judge Mollee Westfall's court, prosecutors Joe Shannon and Tonya Harlan portrayed Bryant, 58, as a mentally challenged man who cannot read, write or manage his money. He spent years working at grocery stores as a stocker, netting more than $150,000 in a profit-sharing account.

Hardee had faced up to 10 years in prison.