Lesson of the day: don’t post pictures of yourself on MySpace holding a beer if the conditions of your probation don’t let you drink alcohol or use the internet.
Defendant Pressley pled guilty to some ugly crimes and was sentenced to a lifetime of probation. As part of the deal, he promised not “to consume or drink any substance containing alcohol,” and to “not possess, use or have personal access to any computer or similar equipment that has internet capability without prior written permission of [his] Probation Officer.”
In July 2007, Pressley’s probation officer paid him a visit. There in Pressley’s house was a vodka bottle two-thirds empty (or as I like to say, one-third full) and a laptop having a desktop icon with Pressley’s name. (It’s not clear what that icon was, but it sounds like a profile icon for Windows XP.)
The state filed a petition to revoke Pressley’s probation. The trial court granted the petition and sentenced him to ten years in prison. Pressley appealed. On review, the court affirmed the prison sentence.
The most intriguing argument that Pressley made to the appellate court was that the lower court erred in admitting photos of Pressley holding a beer. According to Pressley’s wife’s testimony, the photos came from her MySpace page. One of the other pictures had a caption, as if written by the defendant, that said, “Me and my wife.” The court found that these pictures were relevant to whether Pressley violated the terms of his probation.
Good thing you’d never see anything like this over at Sorry I Missed Your Party.