Gavel

BLACKFOOT – Bonneville County 7th District Judge Bruce Pickett, sitting in for Bingham County Judge Darren Simpson on Monday, sentenced four people charged with drug or alcohol related felonies to probation Monday and issued a warrant for a defendant who didn’t show up for court.

Joseph Jason Mathews, 21, Shelley, was sentenced to prison for 1 1/2 years fixed and 3 1/2 years indeterminate for illegal possession of marijuana in excess of three ounces, then Pickett suspended the sentence and placed him on probation for five years.

Prior to sentencing, Mathews’ public defender, Nathan Rivera, asked the court for leniency for his client, saying it was only marijuana he was charged with using, not heroin or methamphetamine.

But Deputy Prosecutor Jason Chandler said he felt an underlying sentence was needed due to the fact Mathews has a habit of daily marijuana use, apparently having moved here from another state where it’s legal.

Pickett told Mathews it’s true the nation is in a state of flux regarding marijuana use because it’s legal in some states and not in others. But he noted that the defendant had warrants for his arrest at the time he was taken into custody. Also, he said, the only thing he showed remorse about was having answered the door.

“You didn’t show remorse about breaking the law and the pre-sentence report says you have a huge issue with smoking marijuana daily. I’m going to put you on probation but if you continue, you’re looking at years in prison, not three months in jail.”

He fined Mathews $1,000 and $285 court costs, ordered him to reimburse Bingham County $500 for the cost of his public defender, perform 100 hours of community service, and sentenced him to 180 days in jail to be served at the discretion of the court.

Leonie Lydia Sireech, 29, Fort Hall, was given a prison sentence of 2 years fixed and 3 years indeterminate for possession of methamphetamine. Pickett then suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for five years.

Manuel Murdoch, her public defender, recommended probation only, saying although she has misdemeanor charges on her record, this is her first felony. He said she previously failed to appear on the current charge because she was in jail at Fort Hall, and she turned herself in as soon as she was released.

But Chandler objected, saying she has a number of misdemeanor arrests to her credit and if she got probation she should also have a sentence of three years fixed and four indeterminate.

Pickett noted that misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, giving a false name to the police, and possession of drug paraphernalia against Sireech had been dismissed in a plea bargain.

“You’re 29 years old” he said, “old enough to know better. You have 23 misdemeanor convictions. You’ve graduated from misdemeanors to a felony. You’re not looking at jail. You’re looking at years in prison.

“I could easily give you a retained jurisdiction sentence” Pickett told Sireech, “but I trust you and I believe you,” referring to her statement that’s she wants to turn her life around. He assessed a total of $1,700 in fines, court costs and fees against her, gave her 180 days of discretionary jail time and 60 hours of community service.

Danielle J. Pulido, 47, Blackfoot, was sentenced to prison for two years fixed and three indeterminate for possession of methamphetamine. Pickett suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for five years, assessed fines and fees totaling $1,885, and ordered her to perform 100 hours of community service. She was also given 180 days of discretionary jail time.

Although Murdoch asked for a withheld judgment for his client Rebekah Julyssa Moreno, 20, of Blackfoot, and the deputy prosecutor said she might be a good candidate for a retained jurisdiction sentence, Pickett sentenced her to a prison term of three years fixed and three indeterminate for burglary, then suspended the sentence and placed her on four years probation

The judge noted that she was originally charged with three counts of felony burglary for breaking into parked vehicles and two counts of injury to property, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, but the rest of the charges were dismissed in a plea bargain.

Chandler said there was some dishonesty going on involving what Moreno had told the pre-sentence investigator and what happened, and she needs to be made to understand she “can’t mess around with probation like she did pretrial services.”

Pickett assessed a total of $1,748 in fines and fees and ordered her to pay $3,698 in damages to the owners of the vehicles she burglarized.

Pickett issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Ryan Steven Fickas, 35, Blackfoot, with bail of $25,000 after he failed to appear for sentencing on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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