A Hillsboro man will be allowed to participate in a court-ordered diversion program, but that order came only after the diversion of the man asking the judge for a bathroom break – a break the judge remarked on for its irony.
A status hearing in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Monday was interrupted briefly after the defendant who had failed multiple times to provide urine samples for drug testing told the judge, “I have to pee really bad.”
Debbenair Noble, 19, Hillsboro, pled guilty on Monday to receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony, and was accepted into a diversion program offered through the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office in lieu of conviction, but not before judge Rocky Coss stopped the hearing so Noble could use the bathroom.
As reported by The Times-Gazette, Coss initially denied Noble’s request for the diversion program on Thursday and ordered that he be taken into custody after he failed to provide a urine sample during a half-hour recess.
During Monday’s hearing, Coss asked Noble if he was experiencing some type of discomfort since he seemed to be shifting in his seat abnormally, to which Noble replied, “I have to pee really bad.”
“Isn’t that ironic,” Coss said before pausing proceedings.
Coss noted during the Thursday hearing that Noble had failed to provide samples for the probation department on multiple occasions, and had violated his pretrial supervision conditions by going to see a movie and getting married.
“What you’ve shown is you thumb your nose at the probation department,” Coss said. “You’re really facing a problem here.”
Due to some miscommunication, Coss said, Noble was not drug tested at the jail over the weekend, although he did provide a sample before the Monday hearing and tested clean.
Coss said if Noble completes the year-long diversion program, his record will be sealed.
“I’m skeptical of that,” Coss said, “but I’m willing to give you the chance… I hate to see your stupidity ruin your future… Smart people do stupid things, but you’ve done some that have greater consequences than others.”
Coss warned Noble that he will still have to submit to drug testing in the diversion program, and that if he doesn’t comply he can still be found guilty of the felony.
“You’ve got some proving to do for the state. You need to understand that,” he said. “You’ve had a lot of breaks in this case, whether you know it or not… Hopefully, three days in jail showed you this isn’t a game.”
As reported by The Times-Gazette, Noble was indicted in March for receiving stolen property after allegedly being involved in an incident where a John Deere Gator was stolen and driven into a pond.
A bill of particulars filed in the case alleges Noble and two others rode the Gator together after it was stolen and “ramped it into a pond.”
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.