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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Former LCF employee sentenced to probation

  • A former corrections officer has been sentenced to three years of probation for having unlawful sexual relations with an inmate at Lansing Correctional Facility.
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  • A former corrections officer has been sentenced to three years of probation for having unlawful sexual relations with an inmate at Lansing Correctional Facility.
    Melinda Trusty, 47, of Lansing, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court.
    Trusty was working at the Lansing prison in 2012, when LCF officials noticed letters going to inmate Nathan Cunningham that seemed to be coming from a staff member, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
    Trusty fell under suspicion. 
    She was interviewed in November 2012, and reportedly admitted to having a sexual relationship with Cunningham. She was fired from the prison.
    Trusty pleaded no contest to the unlawful sexual relations charge in January.
    "It's a very serious matter," District Judge Gunnar Sundby said Wednesday before imposing sentence.
    Trusty had the lowest possible criminal history score for a defendant in Kansas, and the case was considered to be a border box in terms of sentencing guidelines.
    Sundby said this means guidelines allowed him to place Trusty on probation if a treatment program was available and likely to reduce recidivism more than a prison sentence.
    The judge was presented a report of an evaluation of the defendant Wednesday. Sundby said it appears mental health issues led to her being put in the position of committing the crime.
    Sundby determined the border box criteria had been met and suspended a prison sentence.
    The judge also said he would not require Trusty to register as an offender.
    Sundby said offender registration is automatically required in some cases. But, he had discretion in the Trusty case.
    "It's not mandatory," he said.
    When given the opportunity to speak during Wednesday's hearing, Trusty said she recently started a new job involving home security.
    "I'm excited about the job," she said.
    Trusty said the job is in Olathe, and she would like to move there.
     
    Man with multiple convictions sentenced to two years
    A Leavenworth man who has more than 60 prior convictions was sentenced Wednesday to 16 months in prison for a weapons charge and another year in jail for driving with a suspended license, according to a prosecution official.
    Johnny Ray Davis, 52, was convicted in November of an aggravated weapons violation by a convicted felon and driving with a suspended license.
    The charges stemmed from a March 2013 incident in which he was arrested for the suspended license violation.
    While being booked into jail, it was discovered he had a kitchen knife concealed in the waistband of his pants, Thompson said.
    Before imposing sentence Wednesday, Sundby granted a defense motion to set aside allocution in the case. This allowed Joel Rook, who was representing Davis, to argue for a motion for a new trial.
    Page 2 of 2 - After hearing arguments, the judge denied the motion for a new trial.
    The judge also overruled an objection to some of the convictions listed in the defendant's criminal history in a pre-sentencing report.
    Davis has the highest possible criminal history score.
    Assistant County Attorney Christopher Scott recommended a 16-month prison sentence for the weapons charge, which was considered the standard sentence under state sentencing guidelines.
    Scott also recommended a 12-month sentence in county jail for the driving with a suspended license charge.
    Davis already is serving a two-year jail sentence for two earlier cases. Scott asked that the new sentences run consecutive to the earlier sentence.
    The prosecutor also recommended a $1,500 fine.
    Rook said having a suspended license may be a key reason his client frequently has appeared in court.
    "Mr. Davis plans to get his license back as soon as possible," Rook said.
    The defense attorney said Davis has been in jail for several months and a trusty for a significant amount of that time.
    Rook requested that his client be placed on probation or the judge depart from sentencing guidelines for a lighter sentence.
    When given the chance to speak, Davis said he first went to jail at age 12.
    "I ain't never had a chance," he said. "I want a chance."
    Sundby imposed the 16-month prison sentence and the 1-year jail sentence, ordering them to run consecutive.
    The judge said he would impose only a $100 fine for the driving while suspended charge instead of the $1,500 fine requested by the prosecution.
    Scott asked if the new sentences would run consecutive to Davis' earlier jail sentence.
    Sundby said the sentences should be consecutive, but he believes this would have happened anyway by operation of the law.
    Davis had 62 prior convictions including convictions for residential burglary, aiding and abetting in an aggravated robbery and selling LSD. He has eight convictions for driving with a suspended license and 18 convictions for driving as an habitual offender, Thompson said.
    Man ordered to pay $31K in restitution
    A Leavenworth man who was sentenced to 27-months in prison for burglary cases has been ordered to pay $31,694.
    The restitution hearing for Joshua Myers, 25, was Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court.
    He was sentenced last month in three burglary cases. The crimes were committed in 2013.
    As part of a plea agreement, Myers agreed to pay restitution in those cases as well as two cases that weren't filed against him.
     

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