American Idol 2013 Top 10 contestant Curtis Finch Jr. is known for being a preacher’s son and a fan of gospel music, but he’s also harboring a criminal past that’s only recently come to light.
The National Enquirer first reported in January that Curtis was arrested in 2010 for being involved in the theft of a $1,500 laptop from a fellow University of Missouri St. Louis music student and then trying to sell it to another student. To add an ironic touch, the theft of the stolen computer the faith-infused gospel singer tried to sell happened at a church during a choral event!
In a criminal background search, Wetpaint Entertainment located records for Curtis Finch Jr. with the St. Louis County 21st Judicial Circuit Court for “receiving stolen property — $500 or more.” As a class C felony charge, this crime “has a range of punishment from 1 day to 1 year in the county jail or up to 7 years in the Missouri Department of corrections,” according to Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Lee Guinn at Avvo.com.
We contacted the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office to verify the information located in our criminal background search and the identity of the defendant. JD Evans, on behalf of Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, authenticated the criminal background information we uncovered on Curtis Finch Jr. and provided scans of the court records.
In the records, Richmond Heights police officer Gerry Rohr stated the victim “reported his laptop computer stolen from his book bag while he attended a choral event at a church in Shiloh, Illinois.” The victim was later contacted by a fellow student at UM-St. Louis, who said Curtis had offered to sell him the stolen Apple Macbook.
The victim, with help from the Richmond Heights police, arranged to have the witness meet Curtis to purchase the laptop. When he arrived at the appointed time, in possession of the computer, Curtis Finch Jr. was arrested. He was charged with a Class C felony on intent “to deprive the owner of an Apple Macbook laptop computer, retained such property, of a value of at least five hundred dollars, knowing or believing that it had been stolen.”
At his arraignment, the singer decided to confess to the crime after being caught red-handed with the evidence.
“Our records and those of the Missouri Courts show he pled guilty to the amended charge of receiving stolen property,” Evans told Wetpaint exclusively. Curtis entered his guilty plea on September 8, 2011 to Judge Colleen Dolan of the 21st Judicial Circuit Court.
According to the statement provided to us, the charge against Curtis was amended to a “class A misdemeanor.” In pleading guilty to the crime, he was able to escape jail time and “was sentenced to a fine of $1,000,” said Evans. He also had to pay a civil judgement of $10.
Wetpaint has reached out to the American Idol 2013 contestant’s attorney listed in the court documents at the time of his arrest for a statement and we’re waiting to hear back on any mitigating circumstances that might be involved in the case.
It’s been a couple of years since the crime took place, so we’d love to think Curtis has learned from his past mistake. Does his arrest record change the way you see this talented singer, or is it totally inconsequential?