Appeals Court upholds probation recovation

The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt’s decision to revoke the probation of a man accused of violating terms of that probation.

Kelvin Locke pleaded guilty to commercial burglary in 2008 and was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to pay fines, fees, costs and restitution, and perform community service.

A petition was filed to revoke that probation in 2009 alleging that Locke had tested positive for drugs, failed to report to his probation officer, failed to maintain steady employment and failed to pay fines, fees, costs and restitution. He also was accused of failing to perform community service.

Locke was arrested in Texas in June 2012 and was returned to Arkansas.

At the revocation hearing, Damietria Rochelle, a probation officer, testified that she was assigned to Locke when he was returned from Texas. She said his file indicated that he had last reported to his probation office a day after he had been placed on probation in 2008, and although it appeared that he had been given permission to travel to Texas, he had an appointment with a probation officer that would have followed that trip.

Records also indicated that Locke had requested that his probation be transferred to Texas, but there was no indication that the request had been accepted by Texas authorities.

During his testimony, Locke admitted that he had been living in Texas since the day he was placed on probation. He said he did not report to a probation officer in Arkansas because he thought his probation had been transferred, but also admitted that he never reported to anyone in Texas either.

He also conceded that he had done nothing to comply with the conditions of his probation over a four year period.

In his ruling, Wyatt said that although Locke was in the process of transferring his probation to Texas, it was his responsibility to make sure the paperwork was complete.

In addition to upholding Wyatt’s ruling, the Appeals Court also agreed to a request from Locke’s attorney to withdraw from the case because the appeal was without merit.