Judge Defies Recommendation for “Intensive Probation” for Armed Robbery

Why should someone who was convicted of taking part in at least seven armed robberies get “intensive probation” instead of jail time?

For awhile Omaha suffered a string of armed robberies:

The probation officer recommended five years of intensive probation, the man claimed to have changed, and he brought his little daughter to the court room to show he wanted to meet his fatherly responsibilities.

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The judge didn’t buy any of it! When you work with other criminals to rob people at gun point, getting caught in seven instances, there is no way you can be kept on the street. From a moral point of view, the victims were somewhat dodgy—meeting someone they thought was a girl at a park at night—but that is no excuse to leave crime unpunished. Besides, people who rob at gunpoint are a threat to EVERYONE.

This judge demonstrates that not all heroes wear capes.

The Omaha World-Herald reports, “Omahan to serve up to 20 years for ‘catfishing’ robberies after judge ignores probation recommendation.

The entire story is told in a way that empathizes with the criminal by describing his shock at the judge’s sentence.

The Omaha man — 19 when he committed his crimes — had just told a judge that his life hit a turning point after he had sat in jail for the past seven months, thinking about his crime of helping another teen use an online dating service to lure seven men to be robbed.

Jordan L. Kellogg had just heard that a probation officer recommended that he be placed on intensive probation for the four robberies to which he had pleaded no contest.

Then Judge Mark Ashford pronounced his sentence: 24 to 40 years in prison.

Translation: Kellogg, now 20, must serve 12 to 20 years in prison for helping to lure the men to northeast Omaha on the pretense of meeting up with a woman they believed that they had met on the Plenty of Fish dating app.

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” a relative wailed as Kellogg was led out of court.

She turned to Kellogg’s attorney.

“What just happened?” she asked, anguished.

The judge ignored “every recommendation the probation office gave,” assistant public defender Leslie Cavanaugh told her.

Ashford said he had read the presentence investigation report — which details a crime, the defendant’s background and several tests designed to determine whether he will offend again.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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