Defendant requests prison sentence instead of jail

ALAMOSA—While her case is pending on her involvement in the 2016 Floyd McBride homicide, Theodora Travers, 29, will be spending time in prison on another case — at her request.

Things are not going well for Travers in the county jail, her attorney Raymond Miller told District Judge Michael Gonzales on Monday. Since probation was not an option for Travers, who violated probation by not completing a treatment program in December, Miller said his client would rather be sentenced to the Department of Corrections (DOC) than remain in the county jail.

“She does not want to be in jail, and there is no alternative at this point,” Miller told the judge.

Travers also told the judge she would rather go to DOC than “sit in jail.” She said she believed she would have more opportunities for treatment at DOC.

Judge Gonzales told her he hoped she would take advantage of those opportunities.

“I think you have a much worse problem than you think you do,” the judge told her. Her life will not change until she gets that problem under control, he added.

In November Judge Gonzales had placed Travers on probation on a 2015 burglary case and granted her a personal recognizance (PR) bond in the case involving the McBride homicide. However, since that time Travers was taken back into custody on the probation violation, and on Monday Judge Gonzales said he would no longer grant a PR bond since he considered Travers to be a danger to the community. He set her bond at $150,000.

Miller had asked that his client’s probation be revoked but reinstated so she could seek much-needed treatment. In November he, the judge and prosecution agreed that Travers’ drug use had led her to make poor decisions in her life.

Judge Gonzales stated that the basis of her probation violation was that after she was admitted for in-patient treatment in December she refused to surrender her cigarettes and left the program without completing it. Staff had also found a syringe in her possession when she was admitted, the judge said. After leaving the program the probation department did not know where Travers was, Judge Gonzales added.

Judge Gonzales sentenced Travers to 15 months in the Department of Corrections for the probation violation, with credit for 138 days already served.

He could have sentenced her to up to 18 months in prison, which Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig requested. Miller requested a sentence of nine months.

Judge Gonzales also continued the case involving the McBride homicide until March 29. Travers and several others were charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping in connection with McBride’s disappearance and subsequent murder last summer. The primary defendant charged with McBride’s death is Lonnie Cooper, 43.

In an earlier court appearance in the McBride-related case, McCuaig indicated there was an agreement between the parties that might result in a plea agreement in the future. On Monday Miller referred to the ongoing agreement with the DA again and said his client would waive her speedy trial right in that matter.

The probation violation dates back to a 2015 low-level felony burglary case for which Travers was placed on probation. It was her first felony conviction. On Monday she admitted that she violated her probation, and the judge revoked the probation and sentenced her to prison.