Angry outburst leads to probation revocation, incarceration

During the June 20 session of the Ozark County Circuit Court, the normally calm atmosphere was broken when a defendant became angry and began yelling and cursing at the judge and officers in the courtroom.

Brian William Cuthbertson, who was appearing for a probation violation hearing, became angry when Judge Craig Carter informed him that he would be going to the Missouri Department of Corrections that day.

Cuthbertson admitted his probation violation by having new criminal charges of second degree assault, armed criminal action and property damage filed against him. Cutbertson also admitted that he needed help for his substance abuse problem. “I’ve been asking for a year and a half to go into treatment,” he said, “but I’ve never been sent.”

His attorney, Public Defender Chase Opolka agreed that Cuthbertson would benefit from treatment.

Cuthbertson asked that he be given the weekend to remove items from his garage and take to his wife’s home out of the county.

However, Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney Lee Pipkins opposed that request and asked that Cuthbertson’s probation be revoked immediately because of the seriousness of the new charges. He also maintained that Cuthbertson had never sought treatment. “He’s not actively sought help and there’s always a reason to ask for an extension.”

When Judge Carter informed Cuthbertson that he would be going to the DOC that day and wouldn’t be given the chance to remove his mechanic items out of his garage, Cuthbertson became angry. “Are you kidding me?” he asked.

“No,” said Carter. “You’re going today.”

At that, Cuthbertson began ranting and cursing at the judge then walked aggressively toward the courtroom door. 

“Cuff him,” Judge Carter ordered the bailiff and Ozark County deputy.

As both officers surrounded Cuthbertson, the defendant cursed at them. They took him into custody. 

“Can you believe this?” Culbertson yelled at a woman in the courtroom.

“Well can you blame them?” she yelled back.

Even as Cuthbertson was being led from the courtroom, he continued yelling.

After Cuthbertson was taken to the Ozark County Jail, Pipkins asked to continue with the probation violation hearing.

Two witnesses were called to testify that the afternoon he had been released from the Ozark County Jail following a seven day shock incarceration, Cuthbertson became intoxicated and attacked one of the victims, holding him down and squeezing his head. “My two kids were there,” said the male victim. “He was squeezing my head and I couldn’t get away from him.” 

The man said he was eventually able to fight Cuthbertson off and told him to leave.

Both victims testified that Cuthbertson got into his truck, backed up and accelerated into the male victim’s truck. The female victim said she saw Cuthbertson smash into the truck three times and she saw him attempt to hit the male victim with his truck. She said the third time Cuthbertson backed up, he put his truck in drive and attempted to drive into both victims.

“I had to jump out of the way,” said the female victim.

After listening to the victims’ testimony, Judge Carter ruled that Cuthbertson had violated his probation and his probation was revoked. Cuthbertson remains in custody.


Case dismissed 

Charges of unlawful possession of a firearm were dismissed against Daniel R. Mahan.


Warrants issued

Six warrants were issued for the arrest of Steven L. Long. Long, charged with six counts of driving while revoked and one count of possession of a controlled substance, allegedly never reported to Court Probationary Services (CPS) as he had been ordered.

A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Daniel Eric Johnson. Johnson had been scheduled to report for two probation violation hearings. However, he was in the custody of Douglas County.

Prosecuting Attorney Lee Pipkins told the court that he had trouble keeping up with the number of non-compliance reports from CPS. “He was very plainly told about his curfew,” said Pipkins. “And he immediately turned around and violated his probation.”

Johnson’s attorney, Public Defender Chase Opolka insisted that the only reason Johnson violated his curfew was that his home had no power.

Judge Carter issued warrants for Johnson’s arrest and scheduled for him to appear at 1:30 p.m. July 17. Johnson was on probation for charges of third degree domestic assault, tampering or attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution and a violation of an order of protection for adult.


Guilty pleas

Andrew Brandt Clay pleaded guilty to first degree harassment and was sentenced to SIS and placed on probation. He also pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor fourth degree assault and was sentenced to 15 days in the Ozark County Jail with credit for time served. Three other charges of first degree assault, first offense peace disturbance and a second charge of fourth degree assault were dismissed. 

An SIS, or suspended imposition of sentence, means the defendant is placed on probation for a period of time. If the defendant follows the terms of their probation, at the end of the probation period the court will close the case and they will not have a criminal conviction on their record. However, if the defendant violates the probation, a full sentence may be invoked.

Clay was charged in connection with a Jan. 27 incident where he allegedly stalked a teenager and harassed him at a Gainesville gas station. According to the probable cause statement, prepared by Ozark County Deputy Josh Sherman, a teenage boy reported that Clay saw him parked at a gas pump. He said Clay got out of his vehicle and told the teen boy that he “better watch his back,” and “whoever is sleeping with my wife better watch their back too.” According to the report, Clay then shoved the juvenile victim in the chest with his two hands. The teenager told Sherman he believed Clay wanted to fight him and his friends.

The victim called again on Jan. 30 to report that Clay had driven to the Gainesville baseball field, sat in his truck and stared at him and his friends for a period of time before driving off. 



Not guilty pleas

Michael Renne waived arraignment and formal reading of the charges and pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance, second degree trespassing, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Judge Carter agreed that Michael Renne could be released to a sober living home in Branson. He is set to appear again at 9 a.m. Aug. 7. 

James Carl Reed waived arraignment and formal reading of the charges and pleaded not guilty to charges of first degree property damage, second degree trespassing and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage exceeding $1,000.


Continued on probation

Thomas B. Litty reported that his community service is completed and he filed proof of the completion with Probation and Parole. He was continued on probation and is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Aug. 7.

Brian Edward Mottus was continued on probation. Originally charged with possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle on the highway without a license, Mottus informed the court that he now has a valid driver’s license. However, according to Mottus’s attorney, new charges may be filed against Mottus.


Continued to July 3

Mark Kenneth Lowry appeared for a probation violation hearing. Lowry requested that the court appoint an attorney. Lowry was given a drug test and tested negative. He is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. July 3. Lowry was originally charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, discharging into a home or motor vehicle and one count of second degree domestic assault. He pleaded guilty to the charges by way of an Alford plea. An Alford plea is a guilty plea where the defendant maintains their innocence but accepts a sentence. The plea is based on the defendant’s voluntary choice to avoid a harsher sentence if they believe the prosecution’s evidence would be enough to convict them at trial.

Jerimiah A. Love appeared for a plea or trial setting. Love’s attorney said that Love had a bed at Turning Leaf, a rehabilitation center in West Plains, and asked that he be able to be out on bond after his treatment is completed. Pipkins said the state had no objection to that request as long as Love remained on house arrest and reported to CPS. The judge granted Love’s request and ordered him to appear at 9 a.m., July 3. Love is charged with possession of a controlled substance, first degree harassment, unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, unlawful use of a weapon - possessing a weapon and a felony controlled substance, fourth domestic assault, second degree property damage, escape or attempted escape from confinement and damage to jail or jail property.


Continued July 17

Kimberly J. Morris is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. July 17. Morris, currently serving time in the Missouri Department of Corrections, waived her motion for a speedy trial. She is charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia with prior drug offense. Judge Carter was informed that Morris also has charges pending in Douglas County as well as Ozark County. Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney Lee Pipkins told the court that he was prepared to offer Morris a plea bargain of 5 years in the Department of Corrections to run consecutively to the Douglas County sentence.


Continued to Aug. 7

Timothy William Kendrick was scheduled for a plea or trial setting for driving while revoked. However, his attorney was in the hospital and Kendrick is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Aug. 7.


Continued to Sept. 4

Robert A. Wages was set for a plea or trial setting. However, the prosecution is still waiting on evidence from the MSHP crime lab. According to Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney Lee Pipkins, the evidence was sent to the MSHP crime lab May 23, 2023, and there has been “no movement” on the evidence. Pipkins requested a trial date be set in order to let the lab know that the evidence was needed. However, Judge Carter was hesitant to set a date and continued the case to 9 a.m. Sept. 4. Wages is charged with first degree rape/attempted rape, two counts of first degree sodomy/attempted sodomy, owner or occupant allowing or failing to stop a person under age 21 from drinking or possessing alcohol.

Ozark County Times

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Gainesville, MO 65655

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