A 32-year-old Hailey man was sentenced Monday to five weeks in jail for forging the signature of another man on a blank check he had stolen.
Judge Robert Elgee ruled that Brandon Arthur Ivie can spend the first three weeks of his sentence immediately with work release allowed. The judge further ordered that Ivie can spend the final two weeks of incarceration in November when his work season ends. Ivie was taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing in Blaine County 5th District Court.
He was also given a five-year suspended prison sentence, placed on probation for three years, and fined $1,000.
In a case investigated by Hailey police, Ivie was originally charged in August with two felonies, grand theft and forgery. He pleaded guilty to the forgery charge in December in exchange for dismissal of the grand theft charge.
Court records state that Ivie was charged with the crimes for stealing the check from another man in May, making it out for $500 and forging the signature.
At Monday’s hearing, Blaine County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback noted that Ivie has not recently been in trouble with the law but has numerous earlier criminal convictions and once spent time in prison.
“I do think a jail sentence is necessary here,” Fredback said. “He needs to feel lucky that he’s not going back to prison.”
Hailey attorney Christopher Simms, assigned as public defender, acknowledged that his client had made a mistake but told the judge that Ivie had been active in the community and generally a good citizen.
Ivie told the court, “I made a serious mistake and I’m not going to try to minimize what I’ve done.”
Elgee warned Ivie that if he fails at probation he could be sent to prison, and advised him that the maximum penalty for the crime is 14 years behind bars.
“There’s some positives and negatives here,” the judge said. “You have a lot going for you if you don’t make stupid mistakes like this. You can be a good citizen or you can be a sneaky guy.”
Terry Smith: email@example.com