Absconder to serve original sentence

Published 8:53 pm Friday, May 17, 2013

Probation violations, followed by a court hearing, have sent one woman to prison to serve out a sentence handed down almost five years ago.

Superior Court Judge Russell Duke Jr. ordered Lisa Shepard Martin, of Cherry Road, Washington, into the custody of the Department of Corrections on Thursday. On Dec. 10, 2008, Martin pleaded guilty to six charges: among them, felony breaking and entering, larceny and larceny of a firearm. According to court officials, she received probation under certain conditions — one of those conditions being to make herself available, and her location known, to her supervising probation officer.

Martin was arrested on May 1 in Washington County and charged with absconding, which means to willfully avoid supervision or willfully make her whereabouts unknown to a supervising probation officer.

Martin was required to meet, in person, with her probation officer every 30 days.

Martin’s probation officer, Margaret Funk, took the stand in Beaufort County Superior Court Thursday to testify she had not had face to face contact with her client from March 1 or 2 through April 29, the day a warrant was issued for Martin’s arrest, though she had made repeated attempts to get in touch with Martin. Funk told the judge Martin did leave numerous messages on her voicemail, but never left a number where she could be reached, nor told Funk where she was staying.

Though Martin was found to have absconded on another occasion since being on supervised probation, her probation was not revoked.

When called to the witness stand, Martin told Duke and District Attorney Seth Edwards that she “didn’t intentionally just duck (Funk).”

Outside of the absconding charge, Funk described other probation violations: Martin was in arrears on payments for two prior cases, failed to meet community service requirements and had several new convictions: domestic criminal trespass and driving under the influence in Beaufort County in 2012 and another DWI in Washington County in March of this year.

“Just calling up on the telephone and playing some hide and seek game on the telephone is not submitting to supervision,” Duke told Martin.

Duke ordered Martin to serve out her original sentence — 20 to 24 months in prison — and civil judgment placed against her for court costs, restitution and attorney’s fees.