Burglar Sentenced in District Court

19-year-old Joseph Watkins was sentenced in Sheridan County District Court Thursday on one count of burglary. Watkins, in July of 2009, was involved in one of several burglary incidents that took place in the Ranchester area. He had admitted his part in taking expensive German-brand subwoofers from the vehicle of Deven Nedved.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, Judge John Fenn sentenced Watkins to four years supervised probation, suspended any prison sentence -- Watkins served three days in jail -- and ordered Watkins to pay restitution of just under $2,000. Among some other sentencing instructions, Watkins is also to enroll in and complete outpatient treatment and aftercare for alcohol use, serve ten hours of community service, and write letters of apology to the victims.

Before adjourning the court, Judge Fenn told Watkins, "You're 19 years old and a convicted felon, but you have an opportunity to turn your life around. Good luck to you."

Later in District Court Thursday, 32-year-old Jennifer Edwards was arraigned on one count of Felony Child Endangerment. Edwards is accused of knowingly and willfully allowing her young son to be in the same house where Meth was being used and stored. The dates this allegedly took place were January 13th through the 15th.

Edwards plead "not guilty" on the charge and a two-day trial has been set for August 25th and 26th.

Felony Child Endangerment carries a possible sentence of not more than five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Chop off his hand!! I can't

Chop off his hand!! I can't believe he is just getting a slap on the wrist for what he did. Why would he turn his life around? He has been shown that no matter what he does he won't have to suffer the consiquences. What kind of message is this sending to other kids? That they can go out stealing and if they get caught it is no big deal? Writing letters of apology is not so bad. You don't actually have to feel sorry when you you write it.

Oh, please....

If you type that kind of rubbish again, perhaps you should be on the receiving end of a missing limb or two.

Not everyone who gets convicted of a felony goes to prison. There are a few hundred people in Sheridan on probation right now. Want to throw them all in prison? Should we have a prison in every major city in the state? How much in the way of taxes do you want to give up out of your hard earned money to pay for that endeavor?

Probation is a consequence. Having a felony on your record is a consequence. Performing community service and going to counseling is a consequence. If he screws up, he'll go away. Nothing wrong with giving someone (especially a young kid) a chance to turn their life around.

You've obviously

You've obviously never dealt with drug/addiction court before...that's all these offenders get is a simple slap on the hand and a "now don't do that again" for whatever it is they do from traffic accidents to larceny. I have been involved in the legal system in two different states and I have NEVER seen a legal system coddle the inmates as I have here in Wyoming...it's utterly REDICULOUS! It's no wonder these youth think they can get away with anything around here because, guess what, as long as they're in drug/addiction court here THEY CAN!


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