Benjamin Swindoll out of jail due to legal error

    10:59 PM, Dec 8, 2010   |    comments
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    Benjamin Swindoll

    The judge suspended six years of it and and required Swindoll to go through substance abuse treatment.

    Three months ago, while on parole, Swindoll got arrested again for speeding and DWI accusations. Prosecutors tried to get him to serve the remainder of his original sentence.

    But the judge had to dismiss their petition because Swindoll never signed a particular form called an SIS.

    A copy of a suspended imposition of sentence form or SIS, now boasts Swindoll's signature. It's a form prosecutor Tonia Acker says he should have signed back in 2009, but never did.

    The form explains offenses that could land Swindoll back in prison to finish his full sentence.

    So exactly what department dropped the ball? No one would say or go on camera with Today's THV to explain.

    But Acker said this Tuesday. "We do see that that happens in some cases by probation staff, we do see that in some cases the department of community corrections, meaning the regional corrections folks, does it, ADC can do it. so anyone of those folks can do that."

    Today's THV tracked each agency. The Department of Community Correction says they never deal with SIS forms. Their only responsibility is parole agreements, which they made Swindoll sign in September.

    Next, was the First Division Probation Office. That office follows court orders.

    They made Swindoll sign this SIS form Tuesday because the court explicitly ordered it. But in 2009 -- they had no court order specifically calling for an SIS.

    It did, however, call for a suspended sentence. So we asked a UALR law professor if there is a difference between the two.
    John DiPippa says there is.

    If you get a suspended sentence, you don't have to serve time later. If you get a suspended imposition of sentence -- you may have to serve the rest later.

    So we went back to the prosecutor's office for an explanation.
    Deputy prosecutor John Johnson's only comment is that their job is to prosecute cases and recommend sentencing.

    The bottom line is, we never got a clear answer on who should have made certain Swindoll signed the sis. But THV will continue to try to get answers on this case.

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