AP NEWS

Butte man gets probation revoked, jail sentence

December 15, 2018

MADISON — Though he had been on probation for two years, a Butte man had it revoked Thursday and was sentenced to jail time.

Grant Bechtold, 31, appeared before Judge James Kube in Madison County District Court for sentencing on a probation violation charge.

Kube said Bechtold had missed 49 days of drug testing during his Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision (SSAS), as well as had four administrative sanctions that included jail time.

Bechtold said he did want to remain on probation, even though he and his probation officer didn’t see “eye-to-eye.”

“It was kind of inconvenient with no driver’s license. But (the probation office) would want me there at 10 in the morning, 40 miles away,” Bechtold said.

A term of his probation for driving under the influence — third offense was losing his license for eight years.

Deputy Madison County Attorney Matthew Kiernan said that while Bechtold wasn’t charged with absconding, that was essentially what had happened.

“I don’t think continuing probation would be appropriate any longer,” Kiernan said.

He then recommended Kube sentence Bechtold to six months in jail.

Mark Keenan, Bechtold’s attorney, said that while his client did make positive headway during probation, there were negative outcomes as well.

“I disagree with the state’s suggestion that a six-month order is an appropriate sentence. I don’t think a 90-day sentence would promote disrespect for the law. (Bechtold) has been on probation for two years. He maybe hasn’t had a stellar performance, but he has done things,” Keenan said.

Before sentencing, Kube asked Bechtold when he had last consumed any alcohol.

Bechtold admitted to drinking “a couple of beers” a month ago because he was feeling depressed. He denied having used alcohol during his entire time on probation, telling the judge he was sober when he was required to wear his CAM (continuous alcohol monitoring) bracelet.

“The main order that I entered that day I gave you probation was don’t drink any alcohol. You’ve got to stop doing that; you have a problem,” Kube said.

“Ultimately, this tells me that probation is just not for you, whether it’s too hard for you or you can’t do it or it’s just not a priority,” Kube said.

He then revoked Bechtold’s probation and sentenced him on the underlying charge of driving under the influence — third offense. Bechtold was ordered to serve six months in jail with credit for 27 days served. He must serve at least three months, less 27 days credit, before his mandatory release.

Additionally, Bechtold was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, and his license was revoked for 15 years, with credit for the two years it had been previously revoked while on probation.

Kube also sentenced others on the following charges:

Assault

— Brian Sudbeck, 39, 1700 N. Victory Road, third-degree assault on a health care professional, 270 days in jail with credit for 140 days served, 12 months of post-release supervision, costs waived.

— Peyton Flatmoe, 20, 910 W. Park Ave., third-degree assault, minor in possession, 24 months of SSAS probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 29 days served to be served prior to the end of probation unless waived, 120 days of CAM, letter of apology, costs.

Forgery

— Austin Forsythe, 19, Norfolk, second-degree forgery, $1,675 in restitution, 24 months of probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 75 days served, costs.

Possession of methamphetamine

— Jake Madrigal, 24, 711 W. Prospect Ave., attempted possession of methamphetamine, 24 months of SSAS probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 46 days served to be served prior to the end of probation unless waived, costs.

Terroristic threats

— David Swisher, 56, 1700 N. Victory Road, 18 months in the Nebraska Department of Corrections with credit for 101 days served, 24 months of post-release supervision, costs.