Webster said Collier's husband's history of abuse -- including a recent third domestic battery indictment in Putnam County -- might have affected her view in December if she had known about it.
"Courts don't always see the human impact," Webster said. "And it weighed on me about these two girls.
"Obviously she made a huge mistake," the judge said, referring to Collier as a "broken woman" whose life was in disarray because of the poor choices she had made.
"But I became concerned that I was going to unduly disrupt a family unit with two young children in the home," she said.
Collier said the two girls could not live with her husband because of the domestic violence and substance abuse problems. The couple is now separated, she said, although she had considered reuniting with some rehabilitation.
Webster said that in addition to probation, Collier must serve 40 hours a year of community service, get counseling and attempt to repay HealthNet.
Her attorney, Brian Escue, said, "It began with her writing one check, and it snowballed into this atrocity. Even though it's bad to take money from someone else, she was trying to provide for her kids."
Collier said, "I really think my kids have suffered enough. And I can't pay back the money from jail. I know I did wrong. But they've paid enough for it."
Collier is currently employed by a Beckley construction company.
Webster told her, "I hope this second chance will translate into a good outcome. I hope you don't let me down. Because this was not a decision I made lightly."Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.
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