Judge Warns Defendant, Probation is “Last Chance”

BEATRICE – A probation sentence handed to a 46-year-old man Wednesday, is one a judge made clear is the defendant’s last chance at avoiding prison.

:11                  “to grow up”

Brian Hunkins was sentenced to a three-year term of probation, after being convicted of possession, with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a legend drug.  Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner called Hunkins “an annoyance to the community and law enforcement”.

:12                  “but I can’t”

Hunkins told the judge he realizes he is a drug addict.  He said he’s made stupid choices, that have hurt himself and others. Deputy Gage County Attorney Justin Huber differs, saying Hunkins is a criminal, who uses drugs.

Judge Schreiner said a lot of resources are put toward people who just can’t grow up.

:22                  “drain on the community”

The judge says Hunkins must cooperate for probation to be successful.  The probation term includes specialized substance abuse supervision…but if that’s not successful, the judge said the next step is prison.

:12                  “another solution”

Hunkins pleaded no contest to the two drug charges against him.  He’s spent 279 days in Gage County custody.  His sentence includes paying $149 court costs and 10 hours of community service each week, until he is employed.  He’s barred from possessing weapons, and must abstain from use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs.

Hunkins’ criminal history dates to 1993, including traffic violations, defying court orders, and a theft for which he served a two-to-five-year prison term. Huber says that was followed by a terroristic threat case and drug convictions.

Defense Attorney Joe Casson characterized Hunkins involvement with drugs as possession and use, not distribution.

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