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Nosbush Receives One-of-a-kind Sentence

Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

nosbush1Judge James Dehn is known for several pioneer projects in the state including the Safe Cab taxi program in Isanti County and his staggered sentence strategy.  Monday, Kaitlyn Nosbush, 18, became the first person sentenced for burglary to receive a staggered sentence, according to Judge Dehn.

Judge Dehn started the staggered sentence model over a decade ago to keep DWI offenders from repeating the same offense.  The system requires offenders to report to jail immediately, or shortly, after they are sentenced.  They are then required to serve their jail time in segments.  Those in favor of the model say not only does it limit multiple offenses, but also keeps costs down, because offenders spend less time incarcerated.

Nosbush received a sentence of 120 days in jail for four charges of third degree burglary for her role in a burglary spree of area bars between August and October of 2008.  Her lawyer, Dean Grau, requested Judge Dehn use the staggered sentence model for his client, because she was using drugs and alcohol during this time period.  Dehn said traditionally the staggered sentence is done for those dealing with chemical dependency issues.

Nosbush voluntarily enrolled and successfully completed a program at Minnesota Teen Challenge, one of the largest residential drug and alcohol programs in the state of Minnesota. She said she was using both cocaine and alcohol. Grau pleaded that his client’s voluntary enrollment in the rehab program and success made her “a perfect candidate for a staggered sentence.”

Judge Dehn agreed.  He ordered Nosbush serve 40 days in the Pine County Jail (she received credit for 23 days already served)  She is to report within 30 days.  She must then serve 40 days starting on July 1st, 2010 and July 1st, 2011.  Under the staggered sentence guideline, Nosbush can file a motion to forgive her next incarceration period.  If the judge finds she has served as a model citizen and maintained sobriety, its is possible she will not have to serve the remaining time behind bars.

Nosbush must also wear a remote electronic alcohol monitoring (REAM) device for 30 days starting on December 5th, 2009.  She must wear the REAM device for 30 days starting every December 5th until 2011.  Like her jail sentence, Nosbush may file a motion to have the final two 30 day periods forgiven, if she does not commit any sentencing violations.

Nosbush is also on probation for five years.  The conditions include not entering any bar or liquor store.  She is not to use alcohol, or any drugs other than those prescribed by a doctor.  Judge Dehn ordered she pay restitution of $745.49 to Maverick’s Bar and $373.64 to the Timeout Bar.

Appearing in court alongside family and friends, Nosbush was remorseful for her role in the burglaries.  She told Judge Dehn, “I am a completely different person, as if I were reborn out of Teen Challenge.”  She added, “I have grown an extreme amount since I got out of jail.”  She alluded to those in court saying she has a good support system.

Nosbush said she was pursuing possibly enlisting in the National Guard, but no longer qualifies because she is on probation.  She is no longer in any treatment program, but said she is attending church.

Two of the other three involved in the burglaries already received sentences.  Derek Marihart served 90 days in jail and Michael Schouveller is sentenced to 120 days.  Neither appeared before Judge Dehn for sentencing.  The final teen to plead guilty, Spencer Knutson, is due in court for sentencing on May 8th.

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