Erin Darr has two weeks to get her supporters in court to speak on her behalf.
The Maricopa resident, already behind bars, was supposed to be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to child abuse charges. Her attorney, Terry Sutton, requested a delay of 30 days, saying Darr had “a few people” who could not make the court date because of the holidays.
Judge Christopher O’Neil said the date had been on the calendar since September. The state, fully opposed to the postponement, asked for a compromise of no more than two weeks.
Darr earlier pled guilty to abuse of a child under 15 years old. The victim was in court with her grandmother and Victim Services.
Sutton said Darr “wants the court to understand who she was before this happened… If we were to go forward today, I don’t think that’s going to come across very clear to the court as to the type of person Ms. Darr truly is.”
He said family members and non-family members from the community want to speak on her behalf so Darr can have her “fair shot” in sentencing. She is being held without bond.
O’Neil expressed impatience with the request.
“I have the presentence report. I also do have the defendant’s sentencing memorandum, multiple character letters for sentencing,” he said. “I’ve spent hours reviewing the materials we’re today hearing. So I don’t, frankly, have a concern that I don’t have adequate information to conduct a fair hearing. Quite the contrary.”
He agreed there had been substantial time to prepare for the hearing. But he said he still preferred to make sure all parties were heard. O’Neill insisted Sutton choose a date in December.
“I’m not open to continuing it to January,” he said.
The judge set the new sentencing hearing for Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.
“If these individuals who were not available today continue not to be available at that time… we will go forward,” O’Neil said.