Contact 2 questions St. Louis County Prosecutor over restitution issue

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - In May 2014, Brandy Stenberg was the victim of violent road rage on St. Charles Rock Road near I-170 in St. John.

“If I would’ve come to a complete stop, she would’ve shot me. Because I kept in motion, the bullet went through the back door and went through the passenger rear seat.” said Stenberg.

The woman who shot at Stenberg was arrested and charged with first degree assault. She pleaded guilty and got five years’ probation.

“She was ordered by the courts to pay me $500 in restitution plus interest. Payments to begin in February of 2015.” added Stenberg.

Once she started receiving restitution, Stenberg realized something was wrong. She wasn’t paid any interest. She called the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

“I was told there is a glitch in the accounting system and it is not calculating properly.” said Stenberg.

As time passed, her frustration grew.

“We cannot get any answers of why I’m not getting paid or why the system is not being corrected.” added Stenberg.

We took our questions straight to St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. He says his office was still implementing a new computer program used to calculate and track restitution and interest when their attention shifted.

“The last half of 2014 and well into 2015, most of our time was taken up by other matters.” said McCulloch.

He’s referring to the grand jury investigation of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown.

McCulloch says the software issue wasn’t worked out until fall 2016.

“The payment is intended to include principal and interest, but our system at the time and for a period of time, probably a good six months, was applying the full payment to principal. If you printed out the payment schedule, it looked like everything was being applied properly, but it really wasn’t.” said McCulloch.

McCulloch tells me it’s now a problem of the past.

"We’re very confident that as of last fall sometime, all of the glitches with the new program have been resolved and now the amounts coming in are being applied in the proper amounts.” added McCulloch.

Brandy Stenberg will get the interest she’s owed, but that might not be the case for others. McCulloch says his office has to ask the judge for an additional order to pay interest. If the defendant is still on probation, the victim should have no problem getting the interest owed to them.

But in cases where the defendant is no longer on probation, the victim is likely out of luck.