Laramie Man Imprisoned for Probation Violations
A Laramie man admitted to violating the terms of his probation Thursday in Albany County District Court, and will now serve the underlying sentence.
Russell John Rayda, 58, was given a four- to five-year prison sentence with credit for time served. Judge Jeffrey Donnell included a recommendation for Rayda to be placed in the intensive treatment unit to deal with substance abuse issues. Donnell also ordered any of Rayda's unpaid fines and fees reimposed.
Rayda was sentenced in November 2014 on his sixth conviction of marijuana possession, stemming from a Jan. 1, 2014 arrest after Laramie police officer found Rayda passed out in the driver's seat of a running car clutching an open bottle of whiskey. The officer woke Rayda and arrested him. During a search of Rayda's person at the Albany County Detention Center, found 2.3 grams of marijuana in a package in Rayda's pants.
Rayda was given a four- to five-year suspended prison sentence. In its place, he served a 180-day split sentence and was then placed on four years of supervised probation.
The petition for probation revocation filed by Rayda's probation officer details three violations discovered during an unannounced visit to Rayda's home on May 31. The agent found that Rayda consumed and possessed alcohol and associated with an unapproved person -- a neighbor that Rayda says went to the liquor store to buy alcohol for him.
Those violations resulted in Rayda's unsuccessful termination from the Intensive Supervision Program, which he was required to complete per his probation order.
Defense attorney Vaughn Neubauer requested Thursday that Rayda be given another chance at probation, but said "I know that's not looking real good for us right now."
'I had a weak moment," Rayda said. "I was feeling sorry for myself, and I took the weak way out."
"And you've been doing that as long as I've been on the bench," said Donnell. "And you've probably been doing it longer than that."
"I don't doubt that your intentions are good," Donnell added. "Problem is, it doesn't work out that way."