After Chief Judge Douglas Walker on Thursday sentenced Cortez resident Derrick Jim to probation and time served, he issued a warning to the man with four cases in Montezuma County and active warrants in Oklahoma and New Mexico.
“Don’t mess it up,” Walker said.
Jim reached a global plea agreement with prosecutors in 22nd Judicial District Court that allowed his release from jail after the Thursday hearing. He was sentenced to a combined 90 days in jail in two cases but had served at least 103 days.
Throughout four cases in 2018, Jim was placed on 12 months’ probation in May for unlawful use of a controlled substance in February. A month after probation began, Jim was arrested in June for an act of domestic violence and charged with assault and menacing. In October, he dropped a bag of meth in a Montezuma County courtroom and was charged with a Class 4 drug felony.
And in December, Jim was arrested for driving a vehicle containing meth. Officers found meth and meth residue in the area where his young son was seated, according to a police report and statements in court from Deputy District Attorney Sheena Goldsborough.
The global plea agreement that Walker accepted Thursday revoked and terminated probation in the February drug-use case and sentenced Jim to 30 days in jail. In the June assault case, Walker sentenced Jim to 24 months of probation and 60 days in jail and placed a Class 5 felony menacing charge on a deferred sentence.
In the case of meth in the courtroom, Walker entered a convicted of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 drug felony, and sentenced Jim to 12 months’ probation. The December case in which Jim was arrested for meth possession in a car with his son was dismissed pursuant to the plea agreement.
Conditions of probation require Jim to attend a parenting class, obtain a domestic violence evaluation, complete 48 hours of community service, resolve his warrants in Oklahoma and New Mexico within 30 days, pay court costs and undergo random drug tests.
Before the sentence was entered, Walker asked Jim if he had anything to say. Jim responded that he wants to “get it over with” and “get it taken care of.”
Walker then told the defendant that he needs to convince him that he is going to “do anything” in these cases. He told Jim he is here on a probation revocation, has warrants in other states, has failed to appear in the past and periodically doesn’t do what he is supposed to do. He asked Jim to convince the judge why he should wipe the slate clean.
“Why would I believe you?” Walker said. “Why would any judge believe you now?”
Jim replied that he wants to “take care of it,” “go back to work” and take care of his “little man,” referring to his son. He then explained why he missed a court appearance and why he didn’t go attend a presentence investigation appointment.
Public defender Kenneth Pace said his client has changed his behavior and will succeed in probation if he maintains his living situation and employment.
Walker asked Jim if he would be open to a screening for drug court, which he explained requires frequent court appearances and close supervision. Jim said he wouldn’t mind the supervision. Walker then ordered a drug court screening.
If Jim does not succeed on probation, Walker said he will go to prison – where he won’t be able to do anything to help his “little man.”