LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) - A former North Carolina sheriff's deputy who said he was experiencing financial difficulties has pleaded guilty to taking money from an evidence room and trying to hide it.

The Dispatch of Lexington reports former Davidson County Deputy Andrew Eads was sentenced to between 16 and 29 months in prison and 36 months of supervised probation after pleading guilty Thursday to embezzlement and illegally accessing a government computer.

Eads' attorney said his client was experiencing financial difficulties after his son had been born with cerebral palsy and the medical bills impacted the ability to support his family.

A county prosecutor said an investigation began in August 2016 when the N.C. Secretary of State's office arrived at the sheriff's office to collect money seized in a criminal case and couldn't find it.