CORUNNA — A local man was sentenced by Judge Gerald Lostracco Thursday in 35th Circuit Court to at least 23 months in prison for probation violations.
Lostracco, the retired circuit court judge who is filling in this week for Judge Matt Stewart, canceled probation and participation in the Swift and Sure program for Andy Albring, 40, of Owosso.
“By May 2017,” Lostracco said, “you were placed in the Swift and Sure program. I’m sure that Judge Stewart went over the terms of that with you at great length. Obviously, it was to give you some guidance and motivation to make it through successfully, and you wouldn’t have to be facing this day, where there is now a recommendation from the prosecution for incarceration…Regrettably, you’re not here talking to Judge Stewart, congratulating you on successfully completing probation. The testimony shows you didn’t go to drug screens, and you admitted yourself you were abusing alcohol.”
Lostracco sentenced Albring to one year, 11 months, to four years in prison, with credit for 281 days served in the Shiawassee County Jail. Albring also was discharged from probation and the Swift and Sure program.
Albring had been on felony probation for failure to register as a sex offender, and failure to notify officials of a new address. According to Department of Corrections online records, Albring was in prison from June 10 2005 to Sept. 24, 2010,for assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.
After pleading guilty for failure to register as a sex offender and failure to notify authorites of a new address, Albring was sentenced by Stewart to 40 months of probation March 20 2016, according to court documents.
However, Albring admitted in court Thursday that he began using alcohol, one of several violations of probation and the Swift and Sure program.
“I was doing great, but the drinking started taking hold,” he said. “I was hoping that there was something like an alcohol tether, or something like that. I want to try to stay out of trouble for my mother. She has cancer…I’m trying to do the right thing.”
According to testimony, Albring’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and she convinced Albring to turn himself in following her diagnosis. He turned himself in to authorities Nov. 30.
Albring’s attorney, Scott Gould, asked the court for leniency, and noted officers didn’t have to seek out and arrest Albring, that he turned himself in. Gould also questioned how the alcohol tests were conducted and whether probation department officials had tried to contact Albring.
“It sounds like there are some questions about who handled the (alcohol) tests,” Gould said. “It looks like there were no other attempts (by probation officers) to contact Mr. Albring at his residence. There are allegations that the probation department went to his last known address, and the probation officer doesn’t recall who the landlord was, or who the person in charge of the house was. We’re not even sure there were any subsequent attempts by the probation department.”
Prosecutor Deana Finnegan asked the court for a prison sentence.
“The court has heard testimony that Mr. Albring has been on probation in this court since October 2016. He’s been on Swift and Sure probation for about a year and a half now. He’s had several violations of those, most recently following a use of alcohol in Swift and Sure program, and we should cancel that and probation. Also failing to show for a drug test, and absconding from probation. So, I’d ask the court find that the defendant has violated probation and proceed to sentence.”