CLINTON — A Clinton man has been granted a deferred judgement on a forgery charge.
Levi A. Mickelson, 20, no address given, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing on one charge of forgery, a Class D felony. Mickelson pleaded guilty in June to the forgery charge.
Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow recommended the court grant Mickelson a suspended sentence. Barlow requested Mickelson be ordered to complete the Residential Corrections Facility program as a condition of probation.
Defense attorney Les Blair stated the defense was in agreement with the State's recommendation. Blair additionally requested the court consider granting Mickelson a deferred judgement. Blair said Mickelson's issues stem from substance abuse, adding Mickelson realizes he needs substance abuse treatment. Blair stated Mickelson wanted an opportunity to keep a felony conviction off his record.
Mickelson admitted he was "heavily active" in drug abuse, stating he wants to get rid of his drug habit. He said he realizes the impact of a felony conviction and wants to look forward. He added he wants to continue with drug treatment.
Clinton County District Court Judge Henry Latham granted the defense's request for a deferred judgement, stating he believes Mickelson is "worth a chance on a deferred." Latham ordered Mickelson to successfully complete the RCF program as a condition of probation. He also ordered Mickelson to obtain substance abuse and mental health evaluations and follow through with recommended treatment. Latham also ordered Mickelson to abstain from the use of controlled substances and alcohol and maintain employment at an appropriate level. Latham warned Mickelson he must abide by the rules at the RCF.
"I want you to understand the RCF is going to have strict rules," Latham said. "You may think they're silly and ridiculous. They don't care. I don't care. You need to follow the rules."
According to the affidavit, an officer was dispatched for a burglary complaint at 6:40 a.m. April 15. The officer made contact with the victim, who stated he left his locked residence around 1 p.m. April 14. He returned home from work and saw that his front interior door was damaged and someone had entered the residence. A television and a laptop were taken from the front room. The suspect also took a checkbook.
The affidavit states at 10 a.m. April 19 an officer was dispatched to U.S. Bank, 405 S. Third St., for someone trying to cash a check from the victim. The officer made contact with a U.S. Bank employee, who stated Mickelson wanted to cash a check for $650. The check was written out for Mickelson and signed by the name of the victim. Mickelson told the employee he had done yardwork for the victim and this was his paycheck. The employee got a copy of Mickelson's driver's license and kept the check.
The affidavit states that at 7:45 a.m. April 20, an officer called the victim and asked if he knew Mickelson. The victim told the officer he did not write out the check and did not know Mickelson.