By MELINDA WILLIAMS
“Curious” and “peculiar” were words used to describe the actions of a Radford man who racked up several new charges just as he was about to complete five years of probation.
“You were doing fine” before breaking conditions of probation several times, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. told Evan Lee Stump. “Didn’t you understand the consequences” of violating probation?
Stump said he knew there would be consequences, but asked what the consequences are, he seemed to want to delay the answer Judge Long was seeking. “Usually jail time,” he eventually said.
Stump was on probation for a 2008 conviction for unlawful wounding. At that time, he received a five-year prison sentence that was suspended under the condition he complete a five-year probationary period without any violations.
Probation officer Alan Hale said Stump did well on probation until 2012, when he racked up a number of charges, including an attempted robbery in Montgomery County that was later reduced to misdemeanor assault.
Stump explained the attempted robbery charge as being his attempt to collect money that was owed to him, Hale said. A larceny charge was damaged pallets Stump took from an employer, believing it was okay to take them since they were damaged, Hale said of Stump’s explanation.
Stump, 27, said he has lived with his mother the past eight years. He said he has been working in a family upholstery business, but he has a job in the electrical trade awaiting the outcome of his probation violation hearing.
Asked by defense attorney Angi Simpkins why he did so well on probation for four years, then suddenly had multiple charges, Stump said he was suffering from anxiety and depression due to a break-up with is fiancé. “Some days were better than others,” he added.
Simpkins asked if he is taking any medications for anxiety and depression. Stump said he uses exercise to keep the conditions under control rather than taking medications.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor called Stump’s case “peculiar on a number of fronts.” He said there is no evidence of drug abuse as is often the case with the defendants.
“It’s almost like he had the sense he had beat it (probation) and quit too soon,” Fleenor said to the judge. “The most fundamental condition of probation is to behave. I ask you to revoke the five years (of suspended sentence) and impose a portion of it to remind him he’s still on probation.”
Simpkins said Stump “allowed his emotions to get the best of him.” She asked that her client be allowed to serve any sentence on weekends so that he can work.
Judge Long said the case “is very curious.” He suggested Stump might want to consider seeing a doctor for medications if that’s the best exercise is controlling anxiety and depression.
“One bad act can ruin a lifetime of good; and you’ve committed several bad acts,” Long told Stump. “I think you’re probably a pretty decent person, but it’s important for me to be consistent. I know what I want to do.”
After contemplating his decision for a few moments, Judge Long ordered Stump to serve 10 months of the five-year sentence. He also placed Stump on three years of active probation, or as long as it takes Stump to pay $2,000 he still owes the court.
“I had more time down for you, but I reduced it,” the judge warned Stump. He added that the sentence can be served on work release if it can be worked out with the jail.