Judge wants 'whole picture' before gives sentence

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Don Manley's sentencing hearing concluded without a sentence on Monday. Prosecutors will have to wait another month to shore up the case, which has been lingering for almost two years.

Manley, 43, pleaded guilty on Monday to a bail bond violation and reaffirmed his no contest plea in a criminal mischief case filed in 2002.

Judge Paul R. McLimans declined to sentence Manley on Monday because no pre-sentencing investigation report was available. Manley was looking at eight years in a Colorado Department of Corrections prison.

"It's fairly unusual to sentence someone to DOC without having a pre-sentence report," McLimans told the Craig Daily Press. "I wanted to have the benefit of the whole picture before I addressed the case."

Judges use the report, in conjunction with other factors, as a guide during sentencing. A pre-sentencing investigation report compiles facts about a defendant's criminal history, his or her use of drugs or alcohol and information obtained during interviews with the probation department.

McLimans seemed to be most interested in Manley's criminal history.

Usually, the report takes about six weeks to prepare. McLimans said the report could be pared down in Manley's case.

"It could be abbreviated with respect to matters other than his criminal history," McLimans told Mason Seidschlaw, a probation officer with the 14th Judicial District.

Originally, Manley was scheduled to be sentenced in the criminal mischief case last September. He bonded out of the Moffat County Jail in August and failed to appear for sentencing. Early in October, authorities found Manley in Texas. He was extradited to Colorado, where he faced new charges for violating conditions of his bail bond.

Manley accepted a plea agreement with the District Attorney's office that stipulates a six-year prison sentence for criminal mischief and a two-year sentence for the bond violation. The sentences will be served consecutively. The two-year term will not begin until the end of the six-year sentence.

McLimans tentatively accepted Manley's guilty plea and set another sentencing hearing for March 1. Seidschlaw said that should give him enough time to find the information the judge requested.

"It depends on how soon we can get information from other states," Seidschlaw said.

According to court documents, Manley has been convicted of felonies in other states, including burglary in Oregon, escape in Florida, theft of an automobile and burglary of a building in Texas.

Manley was recently sentenced to five years in prison in Montrose County. That sentence will be served concurrent with the Moffat County sentence.

Manley may face additional charges stemming from a temporary restraining order that was filed against him by the victim in the 2002 criminal mischief case. The victim alleges that Manley placed a collect phone call to the victim's home from the Moffat County jail on Wednesday, which would be a violation of the court order.

But Sgt. Ken Uecker of the Moffat County Sheriff's Department refused to confirm whether the phone call was placed from the jail. Uecker is the administrator of the jail's phone records system.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com.

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