PCJ inmate's request granted: He can stay in jail 6 more months
A free man is what Richard Cory Waggoner was supposed to be today.
He was due to walk out of the Putnam County Jail at 5:01 p.m. Friday, sentence served, probation in place.
He was poised to suck in a cold breath of crisp air for the first time in six months and re-enter the real world.
But a funny thing happened on the way to freedom. Waggoner, 31, Indianapolis, decided he didn't want to leave the friendly confines of 13 Keightly Rd.
In fact, Waggoner appeared in court Friday morning, asking for a sentence modification from Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges.
His request was to complete the remainder of his sentence in the jail and forego any probation when he gets out six more months from now.
Waggoner, who represented himself in court, said the harsh reality that awaits him is a life with no vehicle, no job and no place to live.
"I wouldn't be able to meet your requirements for probation," he said, alluding to reporting periodically to adult probation for drug screens and holding down a job among other necessities of fulfilling a successful probation.
A realistic Waggoner told the court he had spent the past several months thinking only about getting out of jail and reuniting with his wife and children.
Then two weeks ago he learned his wife had left him for another man.
"I found out things aren't going to be the way I thought they were," Waggoner told the judge.
So literally to Waggoner, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
"When I walk out that door at 5:01 tonight (Friday), no one's going to be there. It's cold and I've got nowhere to go," he reasoned.
Waggoner's incarceration was a result of his July 26, 2014 arrest on possession of methamphetamine charges at Lieber State Recreation Area.
"I trust you have no objection to him staying in jail?" Judge Bridges asked of Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long.
He did not.
Bridges then granted Waggoner's request to spend the rest of his sentence in jail.
"I hope things work out for you," the judge added with all sincerity after making his ruling.
Unusual as the situation is, Judge Bridges said it's not the first time he has encountered such a rare request.
In his days as a public defender Bridges said he once worked out a plea deal in which the offender would do only six months probation.
The defendant turned it down, however, reasoning that he was 30-some years old and had never not been in trouble for as long as six months at a time.