Trial for Co-Founder of 2×4’s For Hope Pushed to January

By Benjamin Cox on December 5, 2022 at 12:05pm

The co-founder of an Adams County-based charity that builds homes for the at-risk veterans has had his trial for alleged theft pushed back to January.

Muddy River News reports that 63 year old Mark Lawrence of Quincy appeared in Adams County Court this morning before Associate Judge Roger Thomson. Lawrence is charged with Class 1 felony theft, and Class 2 felony theft. If convicted of either felony, Lawrence faces 3 to 15 years in prison, along with fines and restitution costs.

Lawrence and his wife, Chris Lawrence, were the founders of 2x4s for Hope in 2015. The local charity builds homes for homeless and at-risk veterans. However, in November 2021, the organization’s board voted to remove Mark Lawrence as president and Chris Lawrence as treasurer. The 2x4s for Hope board also filed a civil suit against the Lawrences for theft of money and materials from the charity. The Lawrence’s have filed a counter-suit. Both suits remain pending according to court records.

According to an indictment filed in May, Mark Lawrence is alleged to have been selling donated tools Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation to Jacksonville and Galesburg Warehouse Bargains stores and then, allegedly keeping the money. The donated tools were supposed to be used for building tiny homes for veterans. The Illinois State Police are said to have investigated the pawning of the tools back in November of last year. Chris Lawrence was not named in the May indictment.

Lawrence was scheduled for pre-trial motions this morning but the case has been stricken from the December jury call and a status has been set for January 4th.