EDMOND, Okla. - UPDATE 12/7/17 - John Hayes admits the news of the plea deal caught him by surprise.
He said, “I think what he got is fair."
Ronnie Taylor pleading guilty to using a bogus catering business to steal John's settlement cash.
He’s ordered to serve 10 years-probation and 45 weekends in the Oklahoma County Jail and the most important part - he's on the hook for restitution.
Taylor initially denied any wrongdoing and told the In Your Corner team he had no idea what happened to John’s settlement money, but surveillance video just released to the In Your Corner team paints a different picture.
It shows John and Ronnie Taylor together at a Bank of Oklahoma branch in Edmond withdrawing money from the ATM.
Bank records show it happened 31 times over a two-month period.
John's friend, Tim Herbal, chooses to believe Taylor threw himself at the mercy of the court and made a plea, because it was the right thing to do.
“We were incredulous someone would take advantage of someone like John, someone who you know firsthand, john's loyal, he's hardworking,” Herbal said. “He's a good guy.”
John keeps weathering storms.
Out of this tragedy, he was reunited with his blood family after 30 years.
“My younger sister watches Channel 4's news and the first interview you did with me, that is how they found me,” John said.
Then, there's this gift.
John learned how to drive again and was surprised with his very own set of wheels.
“It drives really well,” John said. “It gets really good gas mileage.”
Plus, it gets him to and from work.
Remember, that large settlement was supposed to sustain him for years, but when it disappeared, he was forced to get two jobs.
“He's had people come around him and support him in ways not even I imagined,” Herbal said. “I never pictured john driving again after 30 years of not, yet here he is, Superman behind the wheel."
John’s in the driver's seat and riding his new wave of momentum.
He admits while he's not ready just yet to forgive Ronnie Taylor, he is open to the idea.
“If he has something honestly to say to me and he wants to be honest about it, I would be more than welcome to hear what he has to say, but as far as to have a relationship with him, no."