Friday, June 19, 2009

Judge demurs on probation

Brian Jake Adamson ordered to issue public apology

Brian Jake Adamson

Courtroom information showed that a Carey man convicted last year of having sex with a 13-year-old foster child successfully completed a 180-day rehabilitation program, but Judge Barry Wood isn't ready to let the man out of jail just yet.

"I intend to grant you probation, but not today," Wood told 21-year-old Brian Jake Adamson at a case-review hearing Tuesday afternoon in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Wood was not pleased with Adamson after Adamson admitted at the hearing that he lied during his trial in August 2008. An all-male jury apparently didn't believe Adamson then and found him guilty of sexual abuse of a minor child under 16. The offense is punishable in Idaho by up to 25 years in prison and qualifies a guilty person for lifetime listing as a registered sex offender.

"You lied to your family, you lied to your lawyer, you lied to the jury," said Wood.

Adamson was tried last year on a charge of lewd conduct with a minor child under 16 but was found guilty of a lesser charge. The jury determined that Adamson had sex in October 2007 with a girl who was at that time under the foster care of his parents, Craig and Betty Adamson, at their home in Carey.

At sentencing in January, Wood rejected a Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office recommendation that Adamson be sent to prison and instead sentenced him to the "rider" program. Typically, defendants sent on a rider are given the opportunity for rehabilitation at the Idaho Department of Correction North Idaho Correctional Facility at Cottonwood. Wood also imposed an alternative, but suspended, 10-year prison sentence.

At Tuesday's hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback acknowledged that Adamson did well at Cottonwood.

"I think Mr. Adamson has successfully completed the rider," Fredback said. "I would like you to grant him the opportunity for probation for a five-year period."

Public defender Kevin Cassidy said Adamson "demonstrated he has the ability to obey the rules" at Cottonwood. "He completed all his assigned programs in an acceptable manner," Cassidy said. "He admitted to a period of denial."

Adamson admitted his guilt at Tuesday's hearing.

"I lied, I know that was wrong and I'm sorry for that," he said.

Wood told Adamson that he has "some concerns" because Adamson "took an oath to tell the truth at trial."

The judge read passages from several letters from friends and family of Adamson that were sent to the court prior to sentencing.

One of them, addressed to the judge, said: "I hope you will be able to see through the lies and see that Brian is not the predator." Another letter stated that the writer was "disappointed with the legal system." A third accused police and the court system of "being corrupt."

"The letters go on and on," Wood said. "The court system is not corrupt because you took an oath and lied to the jury."

Wood ordered that he will only release Adamson to probation if Adamson makes a public apology. The judge ordered that the apology is to be in the form of a letter submitted to and published in the Idaho Mountain Express.

"When I see that in print, then I will put you on probation," Wood said.

Adamson remained incarcerated Thursday in the Blaine County jail.

David Orr sentenced

In another sex-crime case, Wood sentenced David Gary Kennedy Orr, a 22-year-old Bellevue man, to 180 days at Cottonwood for impregnating a 16-year-old girl in April 2008.

Orr, who was originally charged with statutory rape, pleaded guilty last April to felony injury to a child.

The judge, citing Orr's past criminal record, followed the recommendation of the prosecutor and rejected a request by public defender Douglas Werth that Orr be placed on probation.

"There's not any major crimes, but there is a multitude of lesser crimes," said Fredback. "He has been on probation before and has trouble following the rules that probation requires."

According to Blaine County courts, Orr has also been ordered to pay child support to the girl. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare took a default judgment against Orr in May in Blaine County Magistrate Court.

Terry Smith:

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