Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON – It’s still too early to weigh the costs, but the local case of a former standout baseball player highlights concerns raised after passage of House Bill 463 earlier this year. The bill was designed to reign in costs for incarcerating non violent offenders.
But prior to passage by the state legislature, law enforcement officials warned of offenders released early and committing additional offenses.
In Marshall County Circuit Court earlier this month, Judge Dennis Foust expressed concerns for a Marshall County man becoming familiar with the courtroom.
Kyle E. Courtney was arrested in April, charged with theft by unlawful taking. He was before the court again in June with a charge of receiving stolen property. In October, second degree burglary.
Just a few years ago, Courtney was more familiar as a standout high school baseball player, both at Marshall County High School and for the American Legion. Courtney, a pitcher, was even courted by Mid-Continent University as one of five local players to join a building Cougars program.
But Courtney’s burglary charge marks his third this year. It also came while he was released on bond from a previous charge.
“On the conditions of your bond, I ought to lock you up,” Foust said. “What I am going to do, essentially, is place you on house arrest. Consider yourself under the microscope. You’re 20 years old. It’s time for you to make some serious decisions.”
Courtney is expected to appear in court again Dec. 5.
Not commenting directly on the Courtney case, Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars said the recurring cases were something his office would have to deal with.
“I assume that’s going to be the norm,” Byars said. “That was the main concern, that we’re going to have multiple offenses after lessening some charges to misdemeanors.”