NEW MADRID -- The maximum prison sentence for a Benton teen on sodomy charges will ensure a safer community, according to the Scott County Prosecutor.
On March 13, Jonathan Ervin, 17, who was convicted of first degree statutory sodomy for his criminal acts involving a 21-month-old child, was given the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison by Judge Fred Copeland. A New Madrid County jury found Ervin guilty earlier this year.
In sentencing Ervin, Copeland set aside the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Corrections Sentence Advisory Report which suggested Ervin's should receive probation through a community-structured sentence, according to Scott County Prosecutor Paul Boyd.
"The judge gave Mr. Ervin all he could at sentencing. Mr. Ervin will have to serve 85 percent of the 30-year sentence which means that he will be subject to release sometime around age 43," said Boyd. "The community will be safer for some time, but we are still concerned about his release in the future. Given his lack of remorse and failure to account for his actions, he will not be a candidate for rehabilitation while in prison. Thus, he will remain a real threat to other children upon his release."
At sentencing, Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Oesch presented testimony from the Tyler Sloan, a State probation officer, and from the father of the victim.
According to Sloan's testimony, the Sentence Advisory Report computations did not fairly assess the defendant's crime. Sloan told the court that the computations for this crime in the report were no different if this had been an offender's first felony stealing conviction. While the SAR computations suggested probation, the state probation officer said he believe the nature of this offense suggested the defendant be sentenced to 15 to 30 years as an aggravating sentence.
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