Relapse sends Wyoming woman to prison

Relapse sends Wyoming woman to prison

Relapse sends Wyoming woman to prison

Jeannette Irene Chamberlain was three years into a five-year probation for DUI, third offense. Now in her mid-forties, she admits to battling with alcohol for most of her life. Chamberlain’s charges originated in Pershing County, but she was serving her diversionary sentence in Wyoming under the interstate compact.

Defendants under the interstate compact answer to both their home and adopted states.

In September, the Division of Parole and Probation in Wyoming filed a probation violation report with Pershing County. Chamberlain attended the hearing by phone, admitting to some of the charges and denying others.

Judge Jim Shirley of the 11th Judicial Court decided he needed to hear directly from Chamberlain’s supervisory agents in order to make a decision that could result in 12-32 months of prison time, the defendant’s underlying sentence. 

The judge also required Chamberlain to attend Monday’s evidentiary hearing in the courthouse’s round, cloud-domed hearing room. She drove up from Wyoming, pulling over to blow into her Interlock device at periodic intervals.

Shayna Mitchell from Wyoming’s Adult Probation and Parole testified audio-visually. So did Gordon Milten from the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation. 

They voiced several concerns. In May 2021, the defendant traveled to Nevada without permission, they said. On May 4, 2021, she was arrested in Wyoming with BAC of 0.28 and faced charges for giving false information to law enforcement.

At a BAC of 0.28 a person generally needs help to stand up and walk. Blackouts are likely at this level. If someone gets this drunk, they may not remember what they said or did while under the influence of alcohol.

The Wyoming officials also raised concerns that the defendant had not installed an Interlock device in her car, or at least not in what they considered a timely manner. There is an Interlock component to Nevada’s DUI diversion program.

Chamberlain’s attorney, Steve Cochran, argued that, according to the judgment of conviction, there was no due-date for installing the Interlock. His client currently had the device installed, he added. 

Cochran said any ‘violation of laws’  in the false reporting case were still pending. He argued for intermediary measures like an ankle bracelet or weekends in jail.

DDA Todd Banks described what he called the defendant’s “pattern of deception.” The defendant denied purposely deceiving anyone, referring instead to miscommunications with Mitchell. The DA’s Office asked the judge to revoke Chamberlain’s probation and remove her from diversion.

Chamberlain spoke to the judge before the sentencing.

“I was sober for three years because the diversion program works. I threw it away for a weekend. I don’t excuse my relapse whatsoever. I’m now six months sober again. I beg the court to keep me in the program.”

“It pains me to do this but I’m going to revoke your probation and sentence you to 12-32 months in NDOC,” said the judge after a recess. To allow her to make arrangements for her car, the judge ordered Chamberlain to check into the jail the following morning by 10 a.m.