Umland gets 10-year sentence, six suspended, on meth delivery charges

Thursday, June 15, 2006

EUREKA SPRINGS -- Former Eureka Springs City Councilman Earl Donald 'Bud' Umland, 54, was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections, with six years suspended and judicial transfer to a Regional Correctional Facility in a sentencing hearing in circuit court Monday afternoon.

Umland pleaded guilty in April to two counts of delivery of methamphetamine.

At that time a pre-sentence investigation was ordered, leading to Monday's ruling.

Umland is to also pay $1,000 in fines a $250 DNA detection fee, and $150 in court costs. With good behavior, Umland could be placed on supervised probation after two years.

The charges, Class Y felonies, could carry up to a life sentence, however, with no criminal history, Judge Alan D. Epley, using the state's sentencing grid and recommendations of the probation office, found that the presumptive sentence was 42 months.

His decision followed testimony by Umland's father, Earl Umland, 91, who pleaded for leniency, taking into account his son's completion of drug abuse treatment, employment and standing in the community, and the fact that the charge was his first offense.

The senior Umland stated that it pained him to have his son sentenced.

Due to the charges being Class Y felonies, Umland was not a candidate for drug court.

Elton Stewart, owner of Victoria Inn and Convention Center and pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, testified that he had know the defendant for slightly more than three years, and had employed him as a general manager.

Stewart became better acquainted with Umland after reading about the charges and going to visit him and inviting him to church. The pastor, a longtime friend of Umland's wife's family, said the contact was initiated by him, and that he made no investigation into Umland's guilt or innocence. "God forgave him," he stated.

Joe McClung, a Eureka Springs real estate investor, stated that he had known the defendant for 32 years, both as a friend and as a business associate. He talked about Umland's contributions to the community, prior to living in town and as an elected official. He also stated that Umland is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

McClung indicated he understood how Umland, a self-described drug addict, got hooked on methamphetamine and its highly stimulating effects. He noted that he was able to afford help in running his lodging enterprises, while Umland was working very long hours to run his. "It's enough to drive you crazy," McClung said. "It plays with your mind and gets to you."

Saying that Umland is "a good guy" who loves his family and his mon and dad, McClung said that his involvement with meth and resulting charges was "tragic."

He said that Umland did need to pay for what he did, but that any sentence should be reasonable, taking into account his age and past record.

Umland was remanded to the custody of Bailiff Tim Garrison for transport to the county jail until a $10,000 transport bond can be arranged. He is to report each Monday to the sheriff's office with information as to how he can be contacted within four hours, until a bed in a Regional Correctional Facility becomes available for him.

His charges stemmed from two incidents on Aug. 11, 2005, when he sold methamphetamine to a confidential information at Budget Host Inn.

Monday's arraignments included:

* Jamie Boone Huffman, 29, of Eureka Springs -- Non-support, a Class D felony.

* Carrie Elaine Lackey, 36, of Holiday Island -- Fraudulent use of a credit card, a Class C felony.

* Brad Allen Lovejoy, 28, of Eureka Springs -- Possession of marijuana, a Class C felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.

* Aaron Skelton, 26, of Berryville -- Rape, a Class Y felony, and indecent exposure, a Class A misdemeanor.

* Adam Dustin Hammame, 21, of Green Forest -- Three counts of delivery of marijuana, Class C felonies.

* Jeffrey Alan Conine, 48, of Berryville -- Violation of Arkansas' hot check law, a Class C felony.

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