September 22, 2014: NPD Crime Report

This is a complete list of reports responded to by the Nacogdoches Police Department

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September 21, 2014: NPD Crime Report

This is a complete list of reports responded to by the Nacogdoches Police Department

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September 20, 2014: NPD Crime Report

This is a complete list of reports responded to by the Nacogdoches Police Department

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September 22, 2014: Nacogdoches County Booking Report

This is the report from the Nacogdoches County Jail that lists the arrests made from 6 a.m. of the previous day to 6 a.m. of the listed day.

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September 21, 2014: Nacogdoches County Booking Report

This is the report from the Nacogdoches County Jail that lists the arrests made from 6 a.m. of the previous day to 6 a.m. of the listed day.

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September 20, 2014: Nacogdoches County Booking Report

This is the report from the Nacogdoches County Jail that lists the arrests made from 6 a.m. of the previous day to 6 a.m. of the listed day.

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The Question of Deferred Adjudication Probation

John Boundy Managing Editor

There has been a lot of talk recently about a form of probation known as deferred adjudication. We have gotten a number of inquiries here at EverythingNac about it. Who got it? Who gave it? How many were given? One of the most important questions is; what is it? Followed by, who cares?

Too many times, people who either don’t know, or don’t understand the workings of the criminal justice system get it wrong. Here at EverythingNac our mission is to give the public the facts and information they need to make informed decisions and develop intelligent opinions.

So let’s talk about deferred adjudication.

Before that, let’s cover some basic criminal procedure. Most times when a judge grants probation in a criminal case, it results in a conviction but saves a defendant from going to jail. The way it works; a defendant pleads guilty, based on that plea the judge finds them guilty and sentences them to jail time. In a probation case, instead of sending a defendant to jail, the judge places them on probation, or community supervision for a set amount of time. While on probation, the defendant will have to live under the judge’s rules, called terms and conditions. More on that later…

Article 42.12, Section 5 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure says a judge, in their discretion, may choose to grant a special kind of probation to a defendant: Deferred adjudication.

In limited circumstances, if the judge feels the best interest of both society and the defendant would be better served, after a defendant pleads guilty, the judge may defer, or put off, the finding of guilt. So a defendant accepts responsibility for the crime, gets placed on community supervision just like in regular probation, but they don’t have a final conviction on their record.

What does that do?

Well, in today’s age of information, just about anybody with a couple dollars and an active curiosity can run down a criminal history on someone. (Search engines like PublicData.com, etc… make it as simple as paying a fee and entering a name). So a conviction is a very important life event. The first two questions asked on most job applications are what? Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Or, have you ever been convicted of any level crime of moral turpitude? (Those include things like: theft, credit card abuse; burglary, robbery, just to name a few. Crimes that mean you can’t be trusted…).

So keeping a conviction off of someone’s criminal record is very important. Especially in a college community where many first time offenders are facing the possibility of a lifetime payment for a momentary lapse in judgment that results in a criminal charge.

How does it come about?

In the course of talking about a case, the prosecutor and defense lawyer are going to cover a lot of ground to try and resolve a pending matter. The nature of the crime, a defendant’s criminal history and what does the victim want to happen from the case all are in the mix. Many times a victims desires are the prosecutor’s guide. Say a business has lost money in a theft, they may just want the money back. In that case, deferred adjudication allows a defendant to pay back the damage (restitution) but not have a conviction on their record.

From a prosecutor’s point of view, to consider deferred, they want to know; is the defendant someone who’s never been in trouble before and just made a bad judgment call? Were they hanging out with the wrong crowd? Was it a wrong place at the wrong time situation? Any one of those may qualify a defendant to be considered for deferred. Or, is the defendant someone who has been in the system many times before with a history of hurting people that needs as much time in jail as possible and deferred is not an option.

From the defense side, the focus is on the defendant’s future and what impact a conviction might have. Can they find a job? Are they disqualified from military service? Will the defendant be able to pursue the professional goals their educational path offers?

The good and bad of deferred adjudication.

Obviously, keeping a conviction off of the criminal history is a huge benefit to a defendant. But it comes at a cost. As with everything in the world, if there’s an upside, a downside must be lurking somewhere. That down side to deferred adjudication is since the judge has not sentenced the defendant, if the defendant messes up their probation, they are looking at the full range of punishment for the crime if revoked off probation. In felony cases, that could be any where from six months in a state jail facility all the way up to 99 years or life in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division (also known as TDC, or the state penitentiary system).

Many times a prosecutor will deliberately offer the defendant deferred adjudication for this reason. Say it’s a case with a child victim and the family does not want to put the child through the stress of a trial. The prosecutor may have to dismiss the case if forced to trial. Instead, they can opt for deferred as a compromise. If the defendant complies with the probation and does well, it’s a positive outcome all around. But, if the defendant messes up, then the full weight of the original offense can be imposed without the victim ever having to testify. The witnesses of the underlying case aren’t needed in a revocation hearing since the defendant has already plead guilty, the only question for a judge is; did the defendant violate the terms and conditions of their probation. The old saying for this is “the defendant holds the key to their own cell…”

Not a walk in the park.

Probation is not an easy thing to complete. The terms and conditions of probation can fill pages in a probation order. There’s the financial impact; hefty fines, court costs, restitution (paying back damages). In addition, there are monthly supervision fees of probation, drug test fees and a whole host of other fees that can add up to a lot in a short order of time.

Then there are the numerous conditions which include basic things like, reporting monthly, performing community service (like the people you see picking up litter on the side of the road), not committing new offenses, etc… But things can start to move fast when you add conditions like mandatory counseling, curfews, additional reporting requirements and the like.

What happens if a defendant violates probation?

Non-compliance on any of these can mean a defendant is going to be arrested on a motion to revoke probation and brought back into court. Once there, the defendant may have a hearing where the state has to prove the defendant violated their probation. There is no right to a jury for that hearing, only the judge will decide if the defendant lived up to their obligations. Another huge difference between a revocation hearing and a new criminal charge is the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the state has to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, a very high standard. However, in a revocation of probation, since the defendant has already plead guilty and been given a “second chance”, the burden of proving probation violations gets lowered to the civil burden of proof, preponderance of evidence. This means the state only need show it “more likely than not” the defendant violated probation to meet their burden. Usually, all that is required is for a supervising probation officer to come in to court and testify how the defendant did not comply with the terms and conditions of their probation. If the state meets that burden, and they usually do, the judge may revoke the defendant’s probation, find them guilty and sentence them to anywhere in the full range of punishment for the crime they now have been convicted of.

Short Answer

While lip service can be given to how many deferred adjudications are offered in a period of time, with a questioning air of justification, that is a disservice to the system. There is a lot more to it than that as shown above. Also, without some context of what the numbers mean, they are meaningless. Deferred adjudication is a limited application of community supervision where, in the best interest of society, a defendant is held accountable for their crime but without a lifetime scar on their criminal record. It is a necessary tool to help manage busy criminal dockets and seek the legitimate ends of justice.

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Guest pianist Lysinger to perform at SFA, give presentation for piano teachers

The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present a performance of celebrated pianist Catharine Lysinger at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

Lysinger, who is an active soloist, chamber musician, adjudicator and lecturer, will present “From Passion to Noble Sentiment,” which will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s stormy Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata,” and Maurice Ravel’s string of waltzes, “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales.”

The program’s character of noble sentiment is rounded out by formally structured pieces by Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti and Frédéric Chopin’s through-composed Barcarolle, Op. 60, which builds on the image of the peaceful, rocking motion of a boat on the water, explained Andrew Parr, professor of piano at SFA.

“The program’s passionate theme returns with the concluding work, Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3, which at times reaches almost violent heights within a one-movement form,” he said.

Lysinger is senior lecturer in piano pedagogy and piano at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she is also the artistic director of the Piano Preparatory Department. She is a prize winner in national and international piano competitions and has performed with the Filarmónica de Jalisco (Guadalajara, Mexico), the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, The Houston Civic Symphony, the Clear Lake Orchestra and other noted ensembles.

“Dr. Lysinger’s reputation as a successful teacher of many prize-winning piano students has led her to present at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago in 2013 and to be invited to be guest faculty at the Vienna International Piano Academy in the same year,” Parr said. “She was recently chosen as the Pre-collegiate Teacher of the Year for the state of Texas by the Texas Music Teachers Association.”

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

The following day, on Oct. 4, Lysinger will give a presentation for area piano teachers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the SFA Music Recital Hall. Parr said all area piano teachers are invited to attend “Teaching Young Pianists to Perform Classical Music with Confidence: Planning, Preparation and Persistence Required!” The workshop is sponsored by the Nacogdoches Music Teachers Association. Admission is free for association members. However, a non-member registration fee of $15 for adults and $5 for students will be taken at the door.

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SFA music faculty member Gavin to present ‘Journeys and Reflections’

The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present music faculty member Charles Gavin in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

The program, “Journeys and Reflections,” will include selected repertoire inspired by different places, locations or works of art, according to Gavin, professor of horn and chamber music in the SFA School of Music.

“With the exception of two pieces, the compositions are by American composers who interpret the different locations,” Gavin said. Accompanying Gavin will be faculty member James Pitts, pianist.

Among the works to be performed is “Sherwood Legend” by Elizabeth Raum.

“Inspired by the Robin Hood legend, this takes the audience back to the silent movie days of Robin Hood,” Gavin explained. “The music certainly takes on the life of a film score.”

Also on the program is “Vermeer Portraits” by Dallas composer Simon Sargon, who takes inspiration for this composition from the paintings of 17th century Dutch artist Jan Vermeer. The program will close with a musical visit to the circus with “Circus Suite” by Michael Horvit.

Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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SFA flutist Guenther to present ‘Baroque to Jazz’

The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present Christina Guenther in a faculty flute recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Cole Concert Hall as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

SFA School of Music faculty member Christina Guenther will present “Baroque to Jazz” with colleagues Geneva Fung, J.D. Salas and Brad Meyer at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Cole Concert Hall.

Guenther will present the program “Baroque to Jazz,” which also features music colleagues Geneva Fung, piano, J.D. Salas, bass, and Brad Meyer, drums.

Among the works to be performed is Sonata in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as Grand Polonaise in D Major by Theobald Boehm.

“Bach is one of the greatest composers of all time,” Guenther said. “His Sonata in B Minor is in three movements. The first has an active feel because of the use of constant faster rhythms – sixteenth notes, thirty-second notes and triplets. The second movement presents a beautiful, floating melody in the flute line supported by lovely chords in the keyboard. The third movement clearly shows Bach’s prowess as a keyboard master and his brilliant use of counterpoint.”

Boehm was a German flutist, composer and inventor during the Romantic period who is considered responsible for the fingering system of the modern flute, according to Guenther.

“His in-depth study of acoustics resulted in his development of the instrument on which the modern flute is based,” she said.

The performance will also pair Samuel Barber’s “Canzone” and Philippe Gaubert’s “Madrigal” as a set.

“Both pieces’ titles mean ‘Song,’ and they are wonderful complements to each other,” Guenther said.

Closing the program is a performance of Claude Bolling’s “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio,” which is composed for “classic” flute and “jazz” piano, Guenther said.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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