CUSTER COUNTY— It was a short day for criminal cases in Custer County District Court on Thursday, October 5 as only two cases were heard in front of Judge Karin Noakes.
Raymond Wolcott, 34 of Elwood, appeared in court to be sentenced on one charge of theft (class IV felony). According to the factual basis read to the court in August, Wolcott had forged signatures on five company checks from Johnson Trucking and then deposited the forged checks into his personal account. The five checks totaled $6,347.01.
During his sentencing, Custer County Attorney Steve Bowers asked the court to follow along with the plea deal and sentence Wolcott to probation as this was simply a dumb mistake when Wolcott was in a tight spot financially. Wolcott’s attorney, Michael Borders, also asked the court to sentence his client to probation and said that Wolcott just wanted to be able to work and support his family.
Judge Noakes stated that while there was no violence with this crime, Wolcott has a significant criminal history and was concerned that he may not be able to complete probation. However, Judge Noakes did go along with the plea agreement and sentenced Wolcott to three years of probation and also ordered him to pay $6,347.01 in restitution to Johnson Trucking.
Daniel Haines, 42 of Ansley, also appeared in court to be sentenced on one charge of 3rd degree domestic assault (class I misdemeanor) after taking a plea deal in September. According to the factual basis, Haines and the victim had gotten into an argument in 2019, which resulted in injuries to the victim. Alcohol had been involved in the incident.
During arguments, Bowers stated that he believed the programs in probation would be a benefit to Haines to help address the issues including alcohol use.
Haines’ attorney, John Icenogle, said that his client had planned to fight the charges with a trial, but during discovery Haines realized that his family may have to admit to being involved in the altercation. Icenogle noted that Haines is willing to take responsibility, however will continue to claim the events were not criminal, but unacceptable behavior. Icenogle state the he believed probation would offer classes to help with any problems he was having.
Judge Noakes said Haines had a significant criminal history, but said that attorneys reach plea agreements for a reason and she would not disturb that process. Judge Noakes sentenced Haines to two years of probation and also said that due to Haines being found guilty of domestic violence he may not be able to purchase or own a firearm.