The Pershing County 11th Judicial Court met on Monday, Aug. 16, with Judge Jim Shirley presiding. Outside, the town entered its second week at high risk of the coronavirus. 

DEBONY LANIER MAFFETT II came to court from jail for his sentencing hearing. Sheriff Jerry Allen pulled guard duty. In Apr. 2021, the PCSO booked Maffett, 26, for resisting a public officer with the use of a firearm. He subsequently pleaded guilty at his arraignment. 

“I did in fact attempt to take a firearm,” Maffett told the judge earlier this summer. Cochran characterized the incident as “attempting to wrestle over a firearm or deadly weapon.” None of the parties required medical attention.

The defense attorney has been looking into veteran’s court in the defendant’s home state of Georgia. Sheriff Allen offered to drop Maffett off at the airport or bus station so the family could pick him up and take him home.

Judge Shirley made completing veteran’s court a condition of Maffett’s three-year probation. The defendant is entering the diversion program. 

“If you don’t go into veteran’s court you’ll need to come back here,” said the judge. He granted Maffett 122 days credit for time served and ordered him held in custody for another seven days so the family could make travel plans.

JAMES ERNEST BURROWS did not show up for his change of plea hearing. Attorney Steve Evenson said that, under medical advice, Burrows remained at home. 

“I see no judicial or administrative purpose to issue a bench warrant,” he added. “This just became known to me this morning.”

DDA Todd Banks agreed but countered, “The matter has been continued multiple times for alleged health concerns. “I don’t want to get into a situation where we have a protracted case.” 

Banks noted that after a settlement hearing with Judge Berry, Burrows signed a guilty plea agreement. The judge continued the hearing until Sept. 8.

“I expect Mr. Burrows to be here,” he said. 

In Feb. 2021 the PCSO booked Burrows, 56, for domestic battery by strangulation.

SERAFINA GOMEZ came to court from jail for her arraignment hearing. In July, the PCSO booked Gomez, 42, for domestic battery, third offense and criminal contempt.  She pleaded not guilty to gross misdemeanor charges of child neglect. 

If the State proves the allegations, Gomez faces the possibility of 364 days in jail and fines up to $2,000. Probation is also possible.

Judge Shirley set the trial for Dec. 28, 29 and 30.

Next, the court addressed another issue, Gomez’s release from custody. She referred to an order from the lower court barring her from returning home.

“If I could go home I’d pay the bond and get out of jail, but if cant go home what’s the point?” she asked.

Banks said it wasn’t fair to put the defendant back in a situation that could expose her to further criminal charges. 

“I hate to be that guy, but fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” he added, pointing out that when the Justice Court allowed Gomez to go home, she picked up additional criminal charges. 

“I appreciated the showing of mercy by the court, but Ms. Gomez has already had an opportunity to go back into the home while these cases were pending. She picked up additional charges – for similar conduct ,” he said. “The State does not have a problem with releasing her from custody but removing that condition would be untenable and irresponsible.”

Gomez said that being in jail had given her time to think. She promised there would be no problems if she returned home. Cochran said he’d file a motion for his client’s release from jail. She will also participate in a settlement conference. For the time being, she returned to custody.

JAMES TRENT GOODBAUDY, 48, of Hillsboro, Oregon, came to court for his arraignment. He faces three counts stemming from his arrest in Apr. 2021. The PCSO booked Goodbaudy for warrant or summons issued upon command. He pleaded not guilty.

Cochran is filing a writ of habeas corpus on the first two counts. On the third count, threatening a public officer, Goodbaudy pleaded not guilty.

If the State proves the allegations, the defendant faces the possibility of 364 days in jail and fines up to $2,000. Probation is also an option. The judge set the writ hearing for Oct. 18. It’s estimated to run about 45 minutes and DDA Banks will prepare an opposition.

The judge discharged a defendant from probation and dismissed their case. They had completed their diversion program in record time, about a year. Attorney Kyle Swanson, present in the court room, called them “a success story.”