COLEMAN TO SERVE MORE THAN 4 YEARS FOR CUTTING OFF HOUSE ARREST ANKLE BRACELET
On April 29, 2013, Garnie Coleman appeared before the Hon. Henry Vanover in the Buchanan County Circuit Court to answer charges for violation of probation and contempt of court that resulted from allegations that he had cut off the home electronic monitoring bracelet that he was to wear around his ankle as a condition of a previous court ruling. Following a brief hearing before the court, Coleman was sentenced to serve an active sentence of four (4) years and four (4) months. He received three (3) years and ten (10) months for the probation violation charge and six (6) months for his contempt of court.
During the hearing, prosecutors pointed out that Mr. Coleman had previously appeared before Judge Vanover on October 01, 2012 on his fourth probation violation which stemmed as a result of a Manufacturing Marjiuana charge from 1998, and that the Court had been very generous to Coleman due to health issues that he was facing. During the October hearing, Vanover showed Coleman considerable leniency by sentencing Mr. Coleman to a sentence of only 12 months of incarceration, and then allowing Coleman to complete the sentence at home. As a condition of this sentence, Coleman was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet that would allow court officials to monitor Coleman’s whereabouts to ensure that he was in fact at his home at all times.
During the hearing, a representative of Alternative Community Corrections testified that in early December, his company became aware of an issue with Coleman’s bracelet and later determined that Coleman had cut the bracelet off of his ankle. At the conclusion, the prosecution requested that Coleman receive a lengthy sentence due to his wanton disregard of the Court’s order. Judge Vanover clearly agreed when he re-imposed the entire sentence that Mr. Coleman could receive in these cases.
In response to Monday’s hearing, Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington remarked that “we are extremely satisfied with the Court’s sentence in Mr. Coleman’s case. We understand that sometimes an individual deserves some leniency for one reason or another, but that generosity is fair only if there are harsh consequences to face should he abuse that generosity. Today, the Court and the Commonwealth clearly sent message that its generosity should not be mistaken for weakness.”