Man sentenced for charging 86-year-old $8,000 to cut down tree

Brandon Guffey
Brandon Guffey - courtesy 18th Judicial District of Kansas

WICHITA, Kansas – A man who charged an 86-year-old woman more than $8,000 to cut down a pear tree has been sentenced to prison in Sedgwick County District Court.

Brandon Guffey, a 31year-old from Wichita, pleaded guilty earlier this year in four felony cases. District Court Judge Richard Ballinger sentenced Guffey to a total of 43 months in prison for the four cases on Nov. 6.

In one of the cases, Guffey convinced an elderly woman to give him $8,800 for what was a $400 tree trimming job, according to statements in court. After being paid an initial $2,600, Guffey returned to the elderly victim two more times requesting additional payment. The tree was trimmed but not removed as requested by the homeowner.

The elderly woman has since moved to a nursing home because of this incident, according to statements made in court by the woman’s long-time friend and attorney.

Judge Ballinger ordered Guffey to pay $8,400 in restitution.

In addition to the tree trimming case, Guffey also pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, four counts of felony theft, one count of deceptive commercial practice, three counts of criminal use of a financial card, one count of burglary and one count of cruelty to animals. The animal cruelty case stemmed from a separate incident in which Guffey struck a dog with an object. The dog was severely injured but survived.

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