FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CR-04-141]
HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE
K. Spradlin, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Michael Zangari, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
W. GRUBER, CHIEF JUDGE.
Janet Young appeals the Crawford County Circuit Court's
order revoking her probation and sentencing her to two
years' imprisonment followed by eight years'
suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) on two counts of
fraudulent use of a credit card and ten years' suspended
imposition of sentence for twelve counts of second-degree
forgery. She argues that the circuit court erred in revoking
her probation based on her being disabled and her inability
to pay. We affirm.
December 20, 2004, appellant pleaded nolo contendere to two
counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and twelve counts
of second-degree forgery. The circuit court sentenced her to
ten years' SIS for each offense, subject to terms and
conditions, which included that she pay $54, 052.66 in
restitution. The court ordered the restitution to be paid in
installments, with $10, 000 due on the plea date and the
remaining balance to be paid at the rate of $175 per month
beginning January 15, 2005. The payments were to be made to
the Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
State filed a petition to revoke appellant's suspended
sentences on February 20, 2008, alleging that she had failed
to make payments since September 17, 2007, in violation of
the terms and conditions of her suspended sentences. The
petition alleged that the balance due on January 19 was $38,
277.66. On August 24, 2008, the court entered an order
granting the State's motion to withdraw the petition
based on appellant resuming payments as ordered.
State filed a second petition to revoke on August 13, 2012,
alleging nonpayment since January 24, 2012, with a remaining
balance due of $31, 267.66. A revocation hearing was held on
July 16, 2015. The circuit court revoked appellant's
suspended sentences and sentenced her to ten years'
probation subject to terms and conditions, including her
continued monthly restitution payments of $175 to begin on
August 3, 2015. The sentencing order entered July 29, 2015,
provided that the restitution due after appellant paid $2100
in court was $27, 067.66. The terms and conditions required
that she pay a $35 probation fee monthly beginning on August
revocation petition was filed by the State on October 7,
2015. The State alleged that appellant was in violation of
the terms and conditions of her probation because she had
failed to make any payments toward her restitution or fees
since August 14, 2015, leaving an unpaid restitution balance
of $26, 882.66. Appellant was not served with the petition
until July 5, 2018, and the revocation hearing took place on
January 18, 2019.
Smith of the Crawford County Prosecutor's Office
testified about appellant's restitution payment records.
Smith stated that in 2017, appellant made six payments, each
less than the $175 required payment, totaling $480. In 2018,
appellant made five payments totaling $865-three for $175,
one for $220, and one for $120. According to Smith, appellant
had made one payment in 2019 at the time of the January
testified about a note in appellant's record indicating
appellant called the office on September 11, 2017, at which
time appellant was informed that she was $7, 480.66 behind in
her payments. She testified that the note also stated that
appellant was told by her attorney that she did not have to
"pay all of it." Smith said that after September 11,
appellant did not make a payment until March 2018. On
cross-examination, Smith said that since the 2015 petition to
revoke was filed, appellant had made twenty-six payments.
State rested after Smith's testimony, and appellant
testified in her defense. She explained that she was
receiving disability payments of $845 in 2018, which had
increased to $869 in 2019. She said she had monthly bills,
including $395 rent for her one-bedroom apartment, $20 to $30
for electricity, $25 for a prepaid phone, approximately $50
for prescriptions not covered by Medicare and Medicaid,
approximately $75 for groceries, $75 for cable, and $175 for
restitution payments. When asked whether she was able to make
the restitution payment, appellant said, "It's hard.
I don't have anything left, but I've been making
cross-examination, appellant testified that she was not aware
that she was $9000 behind on restitution and admitted that it
"shocked" her because she had been making her
payments. She explained some payments were for lower amounts
because her lawyer told her to "pay what you can."
She said she was not trying to do "anything wrong"
or "cheat anybody." Appellant seemed to be unaware
that after making the September 2017 call to the
prosecutor's office-where she informed them that her
lawyer told her she did not have to pay the full amount-she
did not make any payments for the next five months. She said
there was no reason she would not have been making payments.
Appellant admitted that she had been arrested three times for
failing to make payments, and on some of these occasions, she
was able to come up with money, including $2000 in 2008 and
$4500 in 2015. On redirect, appellant testified that her son
made the $2000 payment, a friend made a $2500 bond payment,
and another friend she described as a "second
mother" made the $4500 payment. She further testified
that her sons and her friends paid her $1000 cash bond when
she was arrested on the current petition to revoke.
conclusion of the hearing, the circuit court found that
appellant had violated the terms and conditions of her
probation. The prosecutor made a sentencing recommendation,
and defense counsel responded that appellant was "not
willfully not making payments" and was "making
everything she can based on the amount of money that she has
coming in and the bills that she has to pay." The