Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Accused killer to go before same judge who set him free after probation violation
Jasper County Circuit Court records indicate that when Darren Winans, 21, Jasper, has his first hearing on two counts of first degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, and one count of burglary, it will be before the same judge who let him walk on a probation violation in May 2008.
Court records indicate Judge Richard Copeland approved a plea bargain a plea bargain with Winans that reduced a felony drug crime, committed while Winans was on probation, to a misdemeanor, and allowed him to have unsupervised probation. THe arrest in the case was made by the Jasper Police Department.
Copeland has been assigned to handle the initial hearings for Winans and his alleged partner in the brutal stabbing deaths of Bob and Ellen Sheldon, owners of the Old Cabin Shop in Carthage, Matthew Laurins, 19, Springfield.
As noted in a Turner Report post earlier today, Jasper County Circuit Court records indicate that on March 13, 2008, at a time when he was already serving five years probation for stealing a motor vehicle, Winans was arrested on a felony drug charge, which was later amended to a misdemeanor use of drug paraphernalia. between Judge Copeland sentenced Winans to one year in the county jail, then suspended the sentence, placing him on one year of unsupervised probation, though Winans was already on probation for the other crime. The court records say Winans' unsupervised probation was "unsuccessfully completed."
Winans had already had his probation revoked earlier during the five-year span, according to court records. He was sent to prison on March 21, 2006, for a probation violation, but was released 120 days later.