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Summit County

Plea In Abeyance Means No Jail Time For Man Who Gave Marijuana To Teens At A Party

A Third District Court Judge said Monday that he felt jail time was appropriate, in the case of a Basin resident who dispensed marijuana to teenagers at a party, and later instructed them to conceal the crime from police.

But Judge Patrick Corum said he didn’t have the authority to impose the sentence on Adam David Childers, since the defendant has entered into a Plea in Abeyance agreement.

Judge Corum continued consideration of the case to a hearing on November 19th.

A report from Adult Probation and Parole has recommended jail time for the defendant, who will have his 46th birthday later this week. Defense Attorney Grek Skordas said Childers has done an exceptional job of turning his life around.

Under the Plea in Abeyance Agreement set last summer, Childers pled guilty to seven Counts, including Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Tampering with a Witness and Obstructing Justice. The counts are Felonies, but if he meets the terms of the Plea Agreement, they would be reduced to Misdemeanors. Ten other counts were dismissed.

Deputy Prosecutor Blake Hills noted the charges—that last December Childers hosted a party at his Basin residence including six youngsters who were 14 or 15 years old and that he provided marijuana to the teens. He said the defendant’s behavior was outrageous.

“No parent anticipates his or her child simply going to a party and or sleepover and being provided with illegal drugs and being exposed to strippers as occurred in this case.” Hills said, “Despite the defendant’s statement in the pre-sentence report where he attempts to avoid responsibility. We know in this case what happened; largely from the defendant’s own words in recordings where he says to some of these children, ‘I am in trouble for giving your drugs.’ He tells them when you are approached by the police ‘deny, deny, deny.’”

He said the evidence also shows that the Childers issued a threat.

“He talks to them about who he believes the snitch was and makes statements such as ‘snitches get stitches’ and other statements indicating a desire to obtain revenge against whoever reported this to the police.” Hills continues, “This conduct, coupled with his failure to accept complete responsibility indicates that jail time is appropriate.”

He argued the defendant’s agreement to a Plea deal included a pre-sentence report and recommended jail time could be a consequence of that.

Defense Attorney Skordas said any jail time is only appropriate at the end of the Abeyance period.

“The agreement that the state drafted has in it that there will not be a sentencing within the 45-days but that a pre-sentence report would be prepared.” Skordas explained, “It was anticipated that he would be placed on probation so that we could do something with him during the four to six-month period. I believe, your honor, that if there’s jail here that’s indicated that when we come back in the Abeyance period enter the conviction as Class A misdemeanors or Felonies whichever it is. That you decide what, if any jail time is appropriate. That’s the judgement day.”

Last Summer, Childers was arrested after he failed a random drug test and he admitted using meth. As part of his Plea in Abeyance, he was transferred to the Brighton Recovery treatment program in Salt Lake.

Skordas read a letter from a social worker at the center, who said that Childers has been honest, engaged, and has shown an authentic desire to address his issues. Skordas said he’s been impressed with his client’s progress.

“He was, I think to the surprise of everyone myself included, a huge success in that program.” Skordas said, “It has absolutely turned his life around from where he was when you saw him last. He is working again, he’s supporting his son who is present in the court today and who he plans to continue to reside with and enroll him in school. I would ask the court to consider allowing the time that he spent in Brighton recovery satisfy AP and P’s desire that he do some jail time. Because I don’t see any benefit to him doing any jail time.”

Skordas quoted some of his client’s statements in the AP and P report.

Judge Corum said the defendant has shown a pattern, right up to the present day, of blaming everyone else for his behavior. He quoted Childers from the report also.

“I look at paragraph one sentence two ‘what I know is I am 100 percent accountable for my life and these charges.’ Then he goes through and talks about things and arguably makes excuses which are not helpful here” Skordas said. Judge Corum said “On December 2017 my son and his friends were at the house and the allegedly used a marijuana cigarette that my nanny had bought for them. Also a female friend of mine exposed herself to him.” “He pled to all that your honor” Skordas said, Judge Corum replied “I understand, and I do agree that your client has made substantial changes to his life that certainly warrant consideration.”

In the end, Judge Corum said he’s not satisfied that he has the authority to impose jail time as a condition of a Plea in Abeyance.

“I believe it’s appropriate I would like to oppose it.” Corum explained, “I think one is justified in this matter. I think the conduct here and the continued conduct is egregious and warrants jail time. But I don’t believe as I sit here now that I have the authority to do so.”

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