Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Man accused of killing Carthage couple was free on probation on two felony cases
From all appearances, Darren Winans, one of the two men charged with murder in connection with the Oct. 11, 2008, deaths of Bob and Ellen Sheldon, owners of the Old Cabin Shop in Carthage, should have been in prison long ago.
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 charge of use of drug paraphernalia. Judge Richard Copeland sentenced Winans to one year in the county jail, then suspended the sentence, placing him on one year of unsupervised probation, though he was already on probation for the other crime. The court records say Winans' unsupervised probation was "unsuccessfully completed."
Winans had already had his probation earlier during the five-year span, according to court records. He was sent to prison on March 21, 2006, but was released 120 days later.
Court records indicate at least one other incident of alleged violent behavior. A full order of protection was issued for Winans' ex-wife on May 27.
The break in the Carthage murder case appears to have taken place July 1 when Winans was arrested for stealing a firearm, according to court records. His bond at that time was set at $10,000.