By CHRIS MORRIS
FLOYD COUNTY —
A robbery of $50 resulted in a Jeffersonville man spending 13 months in jail and receiving a sentence in the Clark County Drug Treatment Court Program.
David O. Hyre, 34, of Holmans Lane, appeared in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 on Friday, facing charges stemming from a 2011 incident that involved him preventing his mother from leaving her bedroom as he stole $50 from her, police reported.
Following the incident, which occurred Dec. 18, 2011, Hyre was charged with class C felony robbery and class D felony criminal confinement. He has spent more than 400 days in the Michael L. Becher Correctional Complex from the time of his arrest — the day of the robbery — and his plea hearing Friday.
Hyre’s attorney, Amber Shaw, of New Albany, said he is expected to be in the drug treatment program for the next 18 months to three years. The time Hyre will spend in the program is determined by the progress he is able to make, she said.
If he fails to successfully complete the program, Hyre will be required to complete an 7 1/2-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction, outlined in the plea agreement, minus credit for time served.
Before the sentencing hearing began, presiding Judge Daniel Moore asked Hyre’s mother to come from the gallery area of the courtroom and sit with Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Linda Lamping during the proceeding.
Shaw said that despite being victimized by her son on more than one occasion, Hyre’s mother has pushed to get her son entered into the drug treatment program. His mother said the December 2011 incident was not the first time he has confined her while stealing from her.
Hyre was living with his mother at the time of the crimes and said he plans to return to her home while completing the drug treatment program.
Moore showed significant hesitancy to approve the plea deal, and asked questions of both Hyre and his mother before doing so.
“Right now, at your age, threatening your mother is something I really can’t comprehend,” Moore said to Hyre during the hearing. “If you don’t complete the drug court program, there is no going back to mom.”
Before the court was adjourned, Moore told Hyre he should be ashamed, at which Hyre replied, “I am.”
Shaw provided explanation why Moore was apprehensive to approve the plea, and why he decided to do so.
“He [Moore] was hesitant based of the nature of the charges,” Shaw said. “And he proceeded because the mom, who was the victim, was here and has been the driving force of getting him in the drug court from the get-go.”
She said it is her opinion that Hyre is a good candidate for the drug court program because he has an extensive criminal history perpetuated by his drug abuse.
“He has had an issue with the drugs and not been able to get himself clean on his own,” she said.
After the hearing, Lamping provided justification of having an offender serve more than a year in jail on class C and D felony charges before being sent to the county’s drug treatment program.
“The idea [of the drug treatment program] is the person addicted to drugs will have the opportunity to go straight and become a productive citizen and then these crimes will not be reflected on their record,” Lamping said. “It’s a pretty darn good deal. So, you want it to be a lengthy service time, if you ask me. They got to earn the right to get that, in my opinion.”
She said Clark County Drug Treatment Program officials may disagree with her, but as a prosecutor, she has a different perspective on what is the appropriate time a person should remain in jail before being entered into the treatment program.
“We like to see them serve as much time as they could because it gives them time to get clean, get straight, deal with what they have been dealing with,” Lamping said.
Since 2006, Hyre has been convicted in Clark County with three counts of theft and one count of interference with the reporting of crime. His charges that have been dismissed by the courts include criminal confinement and counterfeiting.
“I was dismayed to see his long [criminal] history,” Lamping said. “It has been going on apparently since he was in high school. He didn’t graduate there. While he was here in our jail, he was able to get his GED. That is probably the most positive thing that has happened to him in 13 years.”
Lamping said Hyre’s success in the drug treatment program depends on if he has reached that point where he is ready to improve his life.
“We will find out real quickly if he has or not,” she said. “I sure hope he [has] because he could be a real productive member of society.”