Already convicted felon jailed for failing to show up for sentencing

By 
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, September 26, 2019
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DOC
          
            Michael J. Nickerson

A convicted felon who failed to show up for his sentencing hearing is back behind bars.

Michael J. Nickerson, 26, appeared in handcuffs in jail clothing in 22nd Judicial District Court recently after having been arrested on a Stillwater County warrant for failing to appear for his sentencing hearing in July. At that time, Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde said jail calls indicated that Nickerson was heading back to New Jersery when he could post bail.

He posted bail on May 23, 2019, and was arrested on the warrant on Sept. 11.

At the recent hearing, Rohde requested a $20,000 bond to run consecutively to other bonds in other counties. Defense attorney Greg Paskell did not object and bond was set at $20,000, with the addition that should Nickerson post that, he must be connected to a GPS prior to leaving the jail.

As of Wednesday, he remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.

THE CASE

Nickerson is charged with one felony count of failing to register as a violent offender on the state’s Sexual Violent Offender Registry (SVOR). Under Montana law, convicted violent and sexual offenders who have been ordered to be registered on the SVOR are required to report to the sheriff’s office in the county which they are living within three days of residency, if the offender will be in that location for at least 10 days. The sheriff’s office then reports that to the SVOR.

Nickerson was convicted of assault with a weapon against a 16-year-old boy in Carbon County in 2013. Nickerson was sentenced to four years with the Montana Department of Corrections for the crime.

At some point, he was placed at the Montana State Prison, from where he was released in 2017. Montana law requires violent offenders to register on the SVOR for 10 years “following the release from confinement,” and that in order to be released from that condition, an offender must petition the court.

Nickerson did not petition the court for release, according to court documents, and is listed as non-compliant on the SVOR registry. Silver Bow County has also charged Nickerson with failure to register as a violent offender.

Stillwater County Sheriff’s deputies came into contact with Nickerson in March 2019 when they responded to a report of three people in Park City who were driving an ATV recklessly, according to court documents. Nickerson was one of those people. While Deputy Garrett Williams was writing a citation, Nickerson told him he lived in Park City.

Later that same day, Deputy Williams was called back to Park City on a disturbance-in-progress call and again, made contact with Nickerson, who again told the deputies he lived in Park City.

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