A Fremont man was sentenced to two years in prison on drug-related charges during Dodge County District Court hearings on Monday. The sentence comes after he failed to appear for multiple court hearings and didn’t participate in a pre-sentence investigation.
Timothy J. Bailey, 28, had pleaded no contest to two charges of possession of controlled substance, methamphetamine and Clonazepam, on March 22. His bond was reduced at the time, and a sentencing hearing was set for May 14. A pre-sentence investigation, which is conducted by the probation office to determine whether the defendant is eligible for probation, was also ordered.
But Bailey failed to appear at his sentencing hearing, as well as a second hearing in July, court records show, and he also failed to participate with the pre-sentence investigation, District Court Judge Geoffrey Hall said in court on Monday.
“He blew off the court and probation,” Hall said.
Coming into court on Monday, Bailey had a new plea agreement in place with the state for two years on each of his two charges of possession, set to run concurrently. He received credit for 62 days previously served.
Under Nebraska’s Good Time Law, Bailey must serve a minimum of one year on his sentence. Bailey will also serve nine months of post-release supervision at the end of his sentence.
The underlying charges of possession are class IV felonies, which carry a presumption of probation under Nebraska law, meaning that probation is considered the appropriate sentence unless substantial reason can be shown otherwise.
Both Bailey, through his defense attorney Kenneth Jacobs, and the state agreed that Bailey’s failures to appear in court and to cooperate in the pre-sentence investigation merited a prison sentence, overcoming the presumption of probation.
Bailey was first arrested on Jan. 18, after being cited during a traffic stop for driving with a suspended license. Through a subsequent investigation, Bailey was found to be in possession of a safe containing drug paraphernalia, including a glass pipe that had traces of methamphetamine, according to a police affidavit. Police also found several Clonazepam pills.
Two additional charges of possession were dropped as part of the original plea agreement.
In another drug-related sentencing on Monday, Dillon Knapp, 20, pleaded no contest to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and also admitted to violating the terms of his probation. He was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison.
Knapp was sentenced to 30 months of probation back in January, after pleading no contest to possession of methamphetamine. That charge came after the III Corps Drug Task Force pursued a search warrant at a Fremont residence in September 2017 that led to the discovery of methamphetamine, and the arrests of Knapp and four other individuals.
Knapp was arrested again in May, while still serving his probation from the previous charge, after the III Corps Drug Task Force again executed another search warrant at a different residence. Knapp was arrested for outstanding warrants, but due to the presence of methamphetamine in the residence, he was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.
After pleading to the new drug charge and admitting to violating his probation, Knapp decided to waive his right to a pre-sentence investigation and proceed directly to sentencing despite there being no sentencing agreement with the state.
His attorney, Jacobs, asked for a sentence of one year in prison. Knapp would serve post-release supervision and still has a pending case in Douglas County that could likely add more time to the sentence, Jacobs argued.
Emily Beamis, Dodge County Deputy Attorney, who asked for a two-year sentence, argued that Knapp had made no effort to “alleviate concerns” about his ability to follow the law, citing the fact that it took only a few months for him to violate his probation.
Hall ultimately sided with the state, sentencing Knapp to two years on each charge — possession of a controlled substance and violating the terms of probation. The charges are set to be run concurrently.
He will have credit for 237 days previously served and will also serve nine months of post-release supervision. Under Nebraska’s Good Time Law, Knapp must serve a minimum of one year.
In other district court news from Monday:
- Mickael Heitshusen, 34, pleaded guilty to possessing a deadly weapon despite being prohibited due to six prior felony convictions. Possessing the weapon, a five-inch black folding knife that was discovered during a traffic stop, amounts to a class III felony. He was sentenced to a year in prison as part of a plea agreement.
- Joshua Henry, 27, who has pleaded not guilty to firing a gun at his girlfriend during a domestic altercation in May, waived his right to a speedy trial and a jury trial. A bench trial was set for April 24 and 25 of next year.
- Travis S. Renken, 49, pleaded no contest to driving under the influence as a fourth offense as part of a plea deal. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing was set for Jan. 28.
- Christopher Johnson, 53, pleaded no contest to violating the conditions of his probation after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance in December 2017. Johnson agreed to serve one year in prison, with 60 days previously served, as part of a plea agreement that saw other matters dropped.