Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 5, 2013

Sentencing rescheduled after judge rejects pretrial diversion

By MELINDA J. OVERSTREET
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — A Park City man charged with second-degree burglary regarding a June 2012 incident, had his sentencing postponed for a second time Monday.

On Feb. 25, Barren Circuit Judge Phil Patton was considering the plea agreement that had been entered Dec. 17 on behalf of Phillip Adam Thompson, 24, with a recommendation by former Commonwealth’s Attorney Karen Davis’ office that he receive pretrial diversion, and with that agreement, he entered a guilty plea.

The diversion would mean that he would not serve any time for the crime as long as he didn’t get into trouble during that designated time period.

Thompson said to the judge that it was the first time he’d done anything like that.

“I’ve let my community down,” the defendant said.

Patton expressed his apprehension that such a sentence would not be strong enough, considering the crime.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Pearson told Patton he understood the court’s concern.

The CA’s office has to abide by agreement submitted by a prior administration, but the judge has the final say on the sentence. If a judge declines to go along with the recommended sentence, though, the defendant has a right to withdraw his guilty plea and plead not guilty instead. A new plea agreement with a different sentence recommendation could be worked out as well.

Patton, who has served as a judge for 11 years, said this was the first time he could recall having a such a serious doubt regarding whether pretrial diversion was appropriate, and he rescheduled the sentencing for a week later.

The judge entered an order denying the pretrial diversion on Friday, and in court on Monday, he confirmed that Pearson and defense attorney Greg Berry had received their copies.

Berry said he would need time to discuss the options with his client before proceeding.

Read the full report in Wednesday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.