The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 6, 2012

Appeals court says area man never should have served sentence



The problems with Booth’s case began in 2006 when it was sent to Olmsted County, which is where Booth was going through treatment. It is common for juvenile cases to be moved to where a person is living after a sentence is imposed.

About a year later, in September 2007, Booth’s probation agent requested a probation violation hearing because Booth hadn’t been successful in treatment. At that time the Olmsted County judge found that Booth would still benefit more from treatment than incarceration. Booth had both mental and behavioral issues that would require treatment for the rest of his life and placement “in adult prison would be counter productive,” the judge said.

The judge revoked Booth’s juvenile probation and placed him on adult probation with a recommendation for sex offender treatment. Booth, who was 20 at that time, then made a request through his attorney to have the case moved back to Blue Earth County for adult sentencing. The request was granted Nov. 28, 2007, but the Olmsted County judge issued an order saying a sentencing hearing should happen within two weeks.

That hearing didn’t take place.

Instead an order was issued Jan. 15, 2008, requiring Booth to remain in jail until he could be placed at a treatment center called Alpha House in Minneapolis. That order and several more that dealt with funding for the treatment said they were coming from the “Juvenile Division” of Blue Earth County District Court, the Court of Appeals ruling said.


Treatment ends again

Booth was sent to Alpha House in September 2008 because funding had become available and there was an opening. During a hearing at that time, Booth’s attorney pointed out that there had never been a hearing or sentencing order after Booth was transferred to Blue Earth County. By then Booth was 21 years old and, without the order, was technically done with juvenile probation.

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