Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Sentence for DUI defendant doesn’t follow plea agreement

While a plea agreement recommended a two-year sentence, a Leavenworth man was sentenced to a year and 30 days in jail for what was at least his seventh DUI conviction, according to court records.

Leonard M. Oldham, 46, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for charges of driving under the influence, driving after being designated a habitual violator, having no proof of insurance and transporting an open container.

Court records indicate Oldham was sentenced by District Judge Gunnar Sundby.

Oldham pleaded guilty to the charges last month as part of an agreement with the prosecution. Four other charges were dismissed, according to court records.

In a plea agreement dated Feb. 1, the prosecution and defense agreed to a sentencing recommendation of 12 months in jail for the DUI and an additional 12-month sentence for the driving as a habitual violator. The recommendation called for the sentences to run consecutive to each other.

It also was recommended that Oldham could be allowed to begin work release after seven days in jail and switch to house arrest after 90 days.

“Those were the recommendations that were presented to the court,” Assistant County Attorney Adam Zentner said.

Zentner, who prosecuted the case, said another attorney filled in for him during Wednesday’s sentencing but the plea agreement had been signed in advance.

However, the judge is not bound by an agreement reached between the defense and prosecution.

“The judge had the ultimate decision on any sentence,” County Attorney Todd Thompson said.

According to court records, the judge sentenced Oldham Wednesday to a year in the county jail, allowing work release to begin after seven days. Oldham will be able to switch to house arrest once he’s paid off fines and other fees owed to the court.

For the driving while a habitual violator charge, Oldham was sentenced to 30 days in jail to run consecutive to the year-long sentence.

Oldham was ordered to surrender to the jail March 23 to begin serving his sentence.

He also was fined $2,500 for the DUI, $200 for the no proof of insurance charge and $200 for the open container charge, a total of $2,900 in fines.

The judge imposed an $800 fine for the no proof of insurance charge but suspended $600, according to court records.

The plea agreement also recommended a $500 fine for driving as a habitual violator charge.

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