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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

State revokes probation recommendation for sex offender, court reschedules sentencing

By Rebekah Bradway

December 4, 2006 | A Smithfield man charged with multiple counts of rape, rape of a child and sodomy, has been given a new sentencing date after the state revoked its recommendation that he to participate in probation.

Christian E. Poole, 40, was originally charged with nine counts rape of a child, seven counts rape and two counts forcible sodomy, according to the case information from Feb. 9.

The defendant's attorney Herm Olsen argued Thursday to Judge Clint S. Judkins in the First District Court that the state should not be able to withdraw its recommendation for probation as was agreed upon in a plea bargain.

"It is a matter of institutional integrity that the State be required to honor its agreement, to keep its word, and to be bound by the benefits and burdens freely and voluntarily negotiated between parties," stated a document written by Olsen in objection to the withdrawal.

After months of negotiation, according to the document, Poole pleaded guilty to one charge rape of a child under the condition the State would recommend probation.

"The state agreed to dismiss 15 similar counts, and further agreed to recommend probation," the objection document stated.

In a letter Poole wrote, he said, "I am frustrated with the pre-sentencing interviewer. I am frustrated with the State. I felt that the interviewer ignored every effort on my part to show remorse for my sins."

In the letter, Poole stated he felt the plea agreement fit for him and felt he would do well in therapy. He wrote, "I do not see the benefit in spending the next 21+ years of my life in prison."

The state, represented by Cache County Attorney N. George Daines and Deputy Cache County Attorney Barbara King Lachmar, defended the decision to revoke the recommendation.

In a notice delivered to Olsen on Oct. 24, Daines gave five reasons for the retraction: refusal to admit to crime charged, misinformation and incomplete information in presentence report, misinformation to family members, failure to meet four standards of Section 76-5-406.5 and no cooperation of family members.

"Even if the defendant did qualify legally, it is still within the Court's discretion as to whether this lenient probation should be allowed," the notice stated. "In addressing that exercise of discretion the Court is asked to determine whether probation is appropriate given the nature, frequency and duration of the conduct.'"

Daines also argued the defendant should be incarcerated, saying, "His being out has caused an extraordinary amount of difficulty... He needs to go to jail, Judge|. We want him in jail."

Daines said Poole was possibly in contact with the victim's family against a court order. Judkins said if there is evidence of contact shown, a bench warrant will be issued immediately to pick Poole up.

Judkins declared the state was not bound to its previous agreement, and he rescheduled Poole's sentencing for Jan. 8 at 9 a.m.


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