For violating his probation in a case from 2017, Jonathan Butterfield, 37, of Alliance, received a year in jail last Wednesday.
Butterfield was originally sentenced to 12 months probation in the 2017 case, in which he was found guilty of possessing a fake insurance policy, a class 1 misdemeanor, and having no proof of insurance, a class 2 misdemeanor.
The Probation Violation states that Butterfield failed to report for probation, did not maintain employment and also failed to make payments on his court-ordered restitution and probation payments.
Butterfield admitted to violating his probation at a hearing on Aug. 27.
During sentencing, Deputy County Attorney Larry Miller cited Butterfield’s criminal history in his recommendation for a jail sentence.
“This is a case where I’d like to recommend continued probation because of restitution, but considering Mr. Butterfield’s criminal history, which the PSI (pre-sentence investigation) regards as extensive—15 charges of theft, seven charges of fraud, 16 charges of driving under suspension or revocation from driving under the influence, one failure to register a vehicle. He’s been sentenced to the Nebraska Penal Correctional Complex twice. Then, on this probation, they went to see him, and he ordered them off the property. He’s unwilling to work with them. It seems to me that anything less than incarceration is just not appropriate,” said Miller.
Miller requested the maximum sentence on both counts. Butterfield’s attorney, Jon Worthman, recognized Butterfield’s record.
“We can’t do anything about that,” Worthman said. “I’m going to ask you consider not doing what Mr. Miller says. We understand he owes this money. Finances are a struggle for him. Putting him in jail is not going to help that at all. I understand that sometimes there’s not a choice; however, in this case there is a choice.”
Butterfield said that he has been working to make changes in his life.
“I’m doing everything financially possible to get this paid off,” said Butterfield. “The biggest thing with my driving and things like that is due to this case here as well as the case in County Court. I don’t know how to go about that.”
District Court Judge Travis O’Gorman noted that Butterfield has failed to pay any restitution in either of his cases. He noted that he gave Butterfield a chance on probation once before.
“You did nothing,” said Judge O’Gorman. “You have a long record of crimes of dishonesty, and I think anything less than a period of incarceration would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote a disrespect for the law.”
On the first count, Judge O’Gorman sentenced Butterfield to serve a year in county jail, and on the second count he sentenced Butterfield to 30 days in jail. Both sentences are set to run concurrently.
Butterfield asked Judge O’Gorman for time to get his belongings out of his apartment, noting he was not planning on going to jail.
“Sorry, you’ve had a long time to prepare for this,” Judge O’Gorman responded. “I told you at your plea, you had a chance for jail. That’s always a risk.”