Ralph B. Davisrdavis@civitasmedia.com
January 16, 2013
WILLIAMSON — The rules are simple; if you fail a drug test while on home confinement in Mingo County, you will go to jail. No questions asked – no excuses accepted. There are no three strikes before you’re out and Tuesday in magistrate court, two defendants became all too aware of the punishment for having prescription drugs in their system that were not legally prescribed or whose levels were not consistent with taking a therapeutic dose.
Kevin Wilson, the Director of the Home Confinement Program for Mingo County and Amanda Mines, a Home Confinement officer, were present in court to present evidence that Jason Ball, 34, of Gilbert, and Flora Ann Daniels, 44, of Matewan, had tested positive for prescription drugs during either a weekly court mandated drug test or a random drug test. Ball was also in violation of another home confinement rule that states you must, at all times, be in range of your monitor, which he is said to have been non-compliance on Jan. 8 for a period of approximately 2 ½ hours. Both defendants were remanded back to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden to serve the remainder of their original sentence.
Ball was arrested on Jan. 9th by Mingo County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman Mines on a domestic battery charge, after he allegedly punched his sister in the back of the head and shoved her to the floor, causing injuries to her head and legs. Upon his arrest, a drug urine test was performed on the defendant, which he failed. The defendant had been on home confinement since Sept. of 2012, following his sentencing for an arrest conducted by WVSP Troopers D.L. Contos and J.D. Matheny that occurred on May 27, 2012 for charges of destruction of property, tampering with a motor vehicle, assault on an officer, fleeing on foot and petit larceny. Ball will be required to serve 90 days in jail.
Daniels had been sentenced to 120 days on home confinement after she was arrested and pled guilty to 1st offense DUI and no child restraint in November of 2012. She failed a drug test administered to her on Jan. 9th. The reports were released to Wilson on the 12th and a warrant was then issued for her arrest. The defendant appeared in magistrate court before Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler and will serve out the balance of her sentence behind bars. Daniels was represented at the hearing by Attorney Ashley Cochran.
Wilson stated that his department that is compiled of himself, Mines and Ronnie Samson, take their job very serious and have a zero tolerance for those who fail to abide by the rules. There are approximately 35 defendants in the home incarceration program at present time, but Wilson stated there has been as high as 86 in one given time period in recent years.
There are guidelines one must meet to be considered for home confinement, and of course, the deciding factors are based on the type of criminal offense that was committed and if there is a past criminal history. If a defendant is granted a sentence of home incarceration, there is a $50 fee for the initial hookup of the equipment and a $10 charge for each day you serve inside your home. You may only leave your residence if granted prior approval and you must have a valid reason before permission would be given (examples are court hearings, attorney appointments, doctor’s appointments, etc.) You must remain within a designated area from your home, which depending on the size of the structure, may not even include the yard. Any violation of this rule is considered grounds for revocation of your home confinement sentence and may require you to spend the remainder behind bars.
“Jail overcrowding is a concern for not only our county, but our state and our nation,” stated Wilson. “When feasible, a defendant may receive a home confinement sentence as opposed to an actual jail sentence, but I’ll be the first to tell you that we enforce our rules and regulations to the highest levels possible. If a defendant fails a drug test, leaves the home without permission or violates any other rule – its game over for them. They will go to jail.”
“Home confinement is a sentence that is not to be taken lightly. Abuse it – you will loose it.”