Women Jailed After Missing Appointment

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Two women facing sentencing last week in court spent an unexpected night in jail, but not for their crimes.

Gila County Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill ordered Esperanza Elicia Ballesteros and Irene Mashelle Jackson to serve a night in Payson’s jail after both women failed to show up for interviews with the probation department preceding their sentencings.

Cahill cannot sentence either woman without pre-sentencing reports and, instead of hoping that they would show up for new appointments, Cahill told both to stay in jail until they met with probation officials.

Ballesteros, who is facing time for forgery, begged Cahill not to incarcerate her, saying it would be detrimental to her and her children’s health.

Ballesteros recently lost custody of her three children for unrelated reasons and is fighting to get them back.

“My main thing is trying to get my kids back,” she said through tears.

Ballesteros’ attorney Ronald Debrigida Jr. told Cahill that Ballesteros’ home life is in chaos.

Cahill noted, however, that Ballesteros did not “even bother to give minimal courtesy” of calling probation to let them know she could not make an April 26 appointment.

“What do I need to do to make sure she shows up?” Cahill said.

Debrigida argued that Cahill had gotten Ballesteros’ attention and he did not need to put her in jail.

“I had her attention last month,” Cahill said. “If getting her attention does nothing, the only way I have to get you (Ballesteros) to go to interviews is to take you into custody.”

Sobbing, Ballesteros handed her phone and purse over and was booked for a night in jail.

Following Ballesteros was Jackson, facing sentencing for aggravated DUI.

Like Ballesteros, Jackson did not appear for an appointment with probation or call to cancel.

Debrigida said transportation issues prevented Jackson from attending.

“It is obvious that like the last individual that you have priorities and they do not include showing up,” Cahill told Jackson.

Jackson was turned over to the jail until her appointment with probation.

Cahill will sentence both women May 31 in a Payson courtroom with Ballesteros at 10 a.m. and Jackson at 11 a.m.

According to court records, Ballesteros was found guilty of driving with a suspended license and failure to appear in 2011 and false reporting to law enforcement in 2004. Jackson was found guilty of DUI and assault in 2002.

Upcoming trial

In other court news, a man accused of housing hundreds of files of child pornography on his computer, will stand trail starting July 20 in Globe.

The jury trial is expected to last six days.

The man appeared in court May 9. It is the Roundup’s policy not to name victims or suspects in sex crimes. Suspects are only identified after conviction.

The man and his attorney will appear in court for a pre-trial conference June 13 in Payson.

Comments

Pat Randall 1 year, 5 months ago

Why doesn't Cahill put people in jail when they don't show up for a court date in his court?

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