BLACKFOOT – Accused video voyeur Kory A. West was scheduled to enter a plea in Bingham County’s 7th District Court Tuesday to planting a video camera and filming activity in the bathroom of a home where he was staying, but his plea arraignment was continued to next week.
West is charged with four counts of video voyeurism, burglary, and the enhancement charge of being a persistent violator. But when he appeared to enter a plea, his public defender James Archibald told the court he had just that morning received papers from the prosecutor’s office regarding a plea agreement between West and the state and needed time to review it with his client.
Judge Darren Simpson continued West’s sentencing to Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. and he was remanded to custody in lieu of $75,000 bail.
West was also scheduled for a status conference on two counts of possession of methamphetamine and introduction or removal of articles from the jail. That was also continued.
In other business, one man was sentenced for domestic violence and one for felony DUI during Tuesday’s proceedings.
Following a somewhat lengthy hearing, 23-year-old Christian Antonio Rivas of Blackfoot was sentenced to a prison term of four years fixed and six years indeterminate on the charge of domestic violence battery with traumatic injury, a charge to which he earlier pleaded guilty in a plea bargain that dismissed the sentencing enhancement of committing the crime in the presence of children.
Judge Simpson suspended imposition of the sentence, placed Rivas on four years probation and assessed $1,475.50 in fines, fees and costs against him, and ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service within a year. Rivas was also sentenced to local jail time, but given credit for time served prior to sentencing.
Before pronouncing sentence, the judge told Rivas his crime was so grave he should have been sentenced to prison. “That would have been a knee-jerk reaction,” the judge said, “but that’s not what we’re about.” He said the court must consider rehabilitation as well as punishment and the protection of society as the law requires.
Rivas’ attorney Paul EchoHawk argued for a withheld judgment and probation for his client, saying he has no prior felonies, a good job that he’s held for a long time, and is needed to help care for the children involved in the domestic union, since their mother is unable to cope by herself. “She’s basically homeless since this happened,” the attorney said, noting that care of the children has fallen mainly on their grandmother.
He said both Rivas and the victim said the domestic violence occurred when they were both drinking and had an argument. He said they probably should not be together, but the family needs the defendant’s help or they won’t have a home.
Simpson responded that a withheld judgment was out of the question, saying the damage to the victim was significant. “He broke her jaw,” the judge said. “How do I address that?” adding later, “I just don’t see how a man hits a woman.”
Deputy Prosecutor David Cousins said he also is concerned about the future violence because of the level of the violence that occurred, but the state concurs with the recommendation in the pre-sentence investigation report of no prison time, intensive counseling and probation.
Rivas apologized to the victim, saying “I believe if this had not happened she wouldn’t be in the situation she’s in right now.”
In another case, Shelley resident David Ryan Hillman, 46, was given a withheld judgment and five years on probation after earlier pleading guilty to felony driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a plea bargain that dismissed two misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident. He was assessed $1,390.50 in fines, fees and costs, suspended his driver’s license for five years, and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
Four defendants were scheduled to appear before Judge Simpson on Monday to enter pleas, be sentenced, or have a status conference on felony charges.
Following his status conference, Jacque Zachary Carr, 29, Idaho Falls, pleaded innocent to possession of methamphetamine, the enhancement charge of being a persistent violator, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. His pretrial conference was set for Dec. 6 and jury trial for Dec. 17. He was remanded to custody in lieu of bail.
Jonnine Lisa Sittre, 54, Pocatello, pleaded innocent to possession of methamphetamine and being a persistent violator. Her pretrial conference was set for Jan. 3 and jury trial for Jan. 28. She was remanded to custody in lieu of bail.
Jonathan R. Peirsol, 45, Idaho Falls, pleaded innocent to grand theft. His pretrial conference was scheduled for Jan. 20 and jury trial for Jan. 28. He was remanded to custody in lieu of bail.
Zandra Ann Brunette, 35, Pocatello, failed to appear for sentencing on charges of possession of heroin, grand theft by possession of stolen property, fleeing from police and misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving without privileges. Her public defender Manuel Murdoch said her failure to appear was due to being in custody in Bannock County on other charges and not getting transported to Bingham County. Simpson said her sentencing will be rescheduled.
Alexander Teed Jones, 22, Ammon, appeared for a disposition hearing after admitting earlier that he violated probation, and was continued on probation after a stern lecture from Judge Simpson. Murdoch, who was his public defender also, asked the court to continue him on probation because he’s been accepted in to a special program for addicts in Bonneville County, and the counseling he receives there is the only help he’s likely to get.
Simpson agreed, telling Jones “You were sentenced on August twenty-third and on August twenty-eighth you had a probation violation, but I think this program will help you and hopefully you will start to think clearly.”
He told Jones, “I want you to think about this: you’re an addict, not a criminal, but being an addict leads to criminal behavior and being an addict doesn’t excuse what you’ve done. You need to get your head clear so you can recognize what your addiction has done to yourself and others.”
He ordered that Jones be transported to Bonneville County where he may be released to court services.
Jones thanked the court for giving him another chance.