Convicted burglar revoked for continued drug

By: 
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, September 6, 2018

YCDF Photo
          
Scott Stein

For the second time since being sentenced in a 2007 burglary ring, a man has been sent back to state custody for his continued drug use and failure to make significant restitution payments.

Scott Stein, 56, was brought back to court last month, after admitting to repeatedly testing positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine use, as well as still owing approximately $5,000 in restitution in the original case.

Stein was originally sentenced in 2009 to a 10-year commitment with the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC), with five years suspended. Last month, Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde requested that Stein’s 2009 sentence be revoked, and that he be committed to the DOC for five years. Defense attorney Greg Paskell asked for a suspended sentence, saying that Stein could pay $700 toward restitution immediately after the sentencing hearing.

“I call it a mistake. And a crime. He’s buying meth,” Paskell said of his client’s actions.

“I think we need to call it what it is,” District Court Judge Blair Jones immediately countered.

Stein told Jones he has now come to terms with his addiction and that he has a plan in place. Stein also said he has been an addict since age 35 and the longest time he’s been sober is a 3-year period when he was in prison. Regarding the restitution payments, Stein said he couldn’t afford to make those during the last nine years, but that his boss was going to help him with that.

DOC Probation/Parole Officer Shellie Stichman told Jones that “honesty about his drug use” was Stein’s biggest problem. She also told Jones that she had tried to help Stein budget his money, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Stein works as a concrete finisher, which is seasonal work.

“Why can’t you work in the winter?” Jones asked Stein, who did not provide an immediate answer.

Jones revoked the 2009 sentence and imposed a 5-year DOC commit. He gave Stein no “good time” towards the sentence and ordered him to abide by 22 court-imposed conditions upon his release, and pay the restitution. Jones said the sentence meets Stein’s need for drug treatment while protecting the community.

He was taken into custody immediately.

CASE

Stein and two codefendants are believed to have committed more than 20 felony crimes during the commission of the 2007 burglaries. Stein had been scheduled to go to trial, with the codefendants having plead guilty and were set to testify against him. Stein entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors on the morning the trial was to begin.

One codefendant had no prior criminal history and received a deferred sentence. The other defendant was given a 15-year suspended sentence to be served concurrently with a sentence he was already serving at an out-of-state prison.

Stein was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections with five years suspended on charges of one felony count of burglary by accountability and one felony count of theft by accountability.

He also has a 1998 federal drug conviction.

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