A trio of criminal cases were heard in Custer County District Court on Thursday, March 3. The morning began with 30-year-old Kyle Martin of Broken Bow. Martin appeared to be sentenced for 2nd-degree domestic assault (Class IIIA felony) and stalking (Class I Misdemeanor) after taking a plea deal in January.
Through the plea deal, both the prosecution and defense agreed to a joint recommendation of probation for the felony charge, but had no agreement in regards to sentencing for the misdemeanor charge.
During arguments, Custer County Deputy Attorney Kayla Haberstick asked the court to follow the plea agreement of two years probation for the assault charge, but to sentence Martin to the maximum for stalking. She noted there were inconstancies in the pre-sentence report and she was concerned with Martin failing to take responsibility for his actions as well as deflecting and victim-blaming.
Martin’s attorney, Matthew Furrow, stated his client has continually denied the charges, but took the plea deal so he can move forward. Furrow said Martin wants to get back to work to help support his child as well as his mother who has been caring for Martin’s child while he has been in jail. It was also argued that Martin has already spent a large number of days in jail and is working on scheduling programs to take part in during probation. Furrow asked that Martin be sentenced to probation for each charge.
Martin briefly spoke to the court where he stated that he was “so sorry to those hurt by my action.” He concluded that he would like to be sentenced to probation to help make himself better.
Judge Karin Noakes partially followed the plea agreement and sentenced Martin to four years of probation as one of the programs that was going to be required takes longer than two years to complete. She also sentenced him to 141 days in jail while being given credit for 141 days already served.
After announcing the sentence, Judge Noakes told Martin he would have been in jail if not for the plea agreement. She remarked that it was astounding he was not taking responsibility considering there were multiple witnesses to the crimes. She also told Martin it was appalling to hear he had allegedly tried to get his child to lie to the police to “save your own skin.” She concluded that she hopes probation works, but “you have to figure out how to take responsibility for your actions.”
Sam Payton, 43 of Callaway, will spend time in the Custer County Jail after he admitted to multiple allegations regarding his post-release supervision. According to the report, Payton was accused of failing to report to probation, left the state without permission, refused to report to jail for custodial sanctions, failed to complete classes or programs put forward by the probation office, as well as other post-release supervision violations.
Payton admitted to the violations and was subsequently sentenced to 60 days in jail and given credit for 19 days already served. Following sentencing, he was taken into custody by the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.
Stephen Thomas, 34 of Broken Bow, will be back in court for an admit/deny hearing after he is alleged to have violated his probation. According to the report, Thomas is alleged to have failed to pay fees and costs related to court and probation. Thomas requested a court-appointed attorney, which was granted by Judge Noakes. Thomas will appear back in court on March 24 at 10 AM to admit or deny the allegations.