REXBURG – A convicted felon will serve five years of probation, attend felony drug court, pay restitution and spend two more days in the Madison County Jail following her guilty plea for the grand theft of possession of a financial transaction card. She also pled guilty to the felony possession of a controlled substance charge.
Andrea Renee Anderson and her court appointed attorney, Jim Archibald, came before Seventh District Court Judge Steven Boyce on Monday where Anderson pled guilty to the charges.
The guilty plea was a result of a plea deal struck with the prosecution recently where Anderson agreed to pled guilty to the two felony charges in exchange for the state dropping misdemeanor petty theft, misdemeanor controlled substance and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charges.
According to Boyce, Anderson stole a credit card left by a business owner at a carwash. The Judge expressed concern that Anderson’s actions had caused a financial nightmare for her victim.
“A normal hard working person makes a simple mistake and leaves a card at a carwash. You take it, and it causes them all kinds of troubles,” Boyce said.
He noted that the victim had spent 30 hours calling up banks and being interviewed by the police in resolving the problem. The victim also lost money normally generated by her company because of the credit card theft.
“It’s a pretty terrible thing to do to somebody who really didn’t deserve it,” Boyce said.
It wasn’t clear how much money Anderson had charged to the victim’s account, but that she had made at least two charges at the Rexburg Walmart. Anderson may have also used the card in Jefferson and Lemhi counties, the court reported.
Boyce ordered Anderson to pay restitution once the prosecution tallies the total amount. He also gave Anderson a suspended sentence of three years fixed and three years indeterminate on both charges for a total of six years that would run consecutively. He suspended the sentence to probation and drug court. He also ordered her to spend two more days in jail in addition to the 28 she had already served.
Madison County Prosecutor Rob Wood told Boyce he considered asking the court to end Anderson on a rider. Such involve defendants undergoing intensive therapy for various mental health issues for up to a year. Wood instead asked Boyce to suspend Anderson’s sentence and to have her complete probation while attending felony level drug court.
“Regular probation won’t be sufficient to address the drug issues she has,” Wood said. “Had Miss Anderson not been on drugs, I don’t think she would have committed this theft. I’ve known Miss Anderson for quite some time. I think she’s got a good heart and tries to be a good person. This addiction is overwhelming for her and contributes to her problems.”
Archibald agreed with Wood’s recommendation of probation coupled with the felony drug court.
“Andrea acknowledges this was a crime driven by addiction, and so she’s embarrassed and apologetic for stealing and taking (the victim’s) cards and using them,” Archibald said.
Archibald asked if Anderson could serve her two extra days in jail starting on Sunday, and Boyce agreed. Boyce also ordered Anderson to reimburse the county for public defender costs and pay other fines.
The Judge told Anderson that probation and the felony drug court would give her the chance to prove herself.
“I think you need to be given an opportunity to see how you will do, on not just probation, but in the more strict confines of specialty court that may help you with these addiction issues. Hopefully, you don’t victimize another person in the future, like what you did to the victim in this case,” Boyce said.