Back in February of this year, Scott County, Iowa, District Judge Mark Cleve rejected a plea deal that would have spared 18-year-old Sherral Jermaine Tolbert prison time for several felony charges stemming from two separate incidents in 2019. The judge declared that, because of Tolbert’s nearly uninterrupted criminal history over the past few years, it simply wasn’t appropriate to return Tolbert to the streets now that he’d reached adulthood.
“The Court reluctantly concluded that the plea agreement was not appropriate because at present the defendant’s conduct has shown that he constitutes a substantial danger to the community,” Cleve wrote in his decision. “Specifically the Court notes that the defendant has had eleven prior juvenile court adjudications, at least six of which would have been felonies if had had been an adult, and four of which involved assaults or assaultive conduct. The Court further notes that the charges he was to be sentenced on included two aggravated misdemeanor assault charges, which were committed less than two weeks after he had been placed on juvenile probation for several offenses which included two counts of assault with intent to inflict serious injury.”
Cleve also noted that while he was awaiting the disposition of the two cases, Tolbert also committed another aggravated misdemeanor assault against a female jailer at the Cedar County Jail.
Despite Cleve’s objections, Tolbert was ultimately released on three years probation a month later by Scott County Judge Patrick McElyea after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, and two counts of assaulting police officers.