In a hearing lasting just under 15 minutes today, defendant Herbert Lucas “H.L.” Scott formally accepted a plea bargain agreement regarding sexual assault and related charges.
A possible plea bargain between Public Defender Julia Stancil and Deputy District Attorney Joanne Morando had been hinted at during a hearing on June 16 concerning a second series of upcoming trials.
With today’s plea bargain, sentencing for Scott is now set for 1:30 p.m. on August 31.
Morando reported that all the detailed conditions for probation were still being worked out and advised Judge Patrick Murphy that sentencing guidelines had changed around the time of at least one of the alleged incidents. It was noted that Scott was a juvenile during some of the alleged incidents.
Murphy outlines elements of the plea agreement
Case D82020CR158 (with some amendments still pending):
- Count 1: Class 6 Felony – Obscenity
A stipulation of 5-years of non-sex offender, intensive supervised probation, but no jail time on this count. Scott must register as a sex offender and comply with all treatment requirements and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 unless granted permission by the treatment team. Certain other conditions are not yet settled and remain open to the decsion of the court.
- Count 15: Class 1 Misdemeanor, third-degree assault
Jail time remains to be determined, but appears to be a minimum of 60 days
- Count 1: Class 4 Felony – Sexual Assault committed by an Adult
Jail time of 60 days with a maximum of two years.
Murphy stated that protection orders are still in effect and restitution is open for 60 days. He then asked Scott to confirm verbally that he has: 1) read, understood and signed the agreement, 2) was “satisfied with Ms. Stancil’s work and advice”, and 3) he was not under the influence of any substance that might cloud his thinking.
Further, when asked, Scott affirmed he knew that a jury trial was available to him; however he waived all rights associated with that option.
“If you were to violate your probation, it could be revoked and you could be resentenced”, Murphy said, indicating significant time in prison.
Scott pleads guilty on the three counts
When asked how would he plead, Scott replied:
Case D82020CR158, Count 1: “Guilty”
Case D82020CR158, Count 15 “Guilty”
Case D82021JD4, Count 1: “Guilty”
The next steps outlined by Murphy were to order a pre-sentencing report, a psychosexual evaluation, and setting a sentencing date. With Scott now living in Jefferson County, all parties agreed to have an evaluation conducted in the Metro Denver area.
After consulting the availability of the attorneys, a sentencing date of Aug, 31 was agreed upon. Morando felt that “multiple hours would be needed, based on the number of those wanting to make comments”. A full afternoon was set aside, starting at 1:30 p.m. in the District 11 Courtroom of Judge Murphy at 142 Crestone Avenue in Salida.
Trial dates will be vacated and motions to dismiss made at the sentencing time.
Editor note: Ark Valley Voice has covered these proceedings dating back to at least August, 2022.
Featured image: Chaffee County Judicial Facility at 142 Crestone in Salida is the home of the 11th District Court. Merrell Bergin photo