Contempt of court trial leads to 12-month jail term

October 31, 2012 02:40 pm

Imnaha man’s sentence stems from violating a stalking order

An Imnaha man was sentenced to 12 months in the Union County jail after last week’s three-day contempt of court trial. Judge Greg Baxter of Baker County sentenced Lloyd Trackwell, 53, Monday morning on contempt of court charges. 

Union County District Attorney Tim Thompson prosecuted the case. In his argument before sentencing, he said the case is about accountability in a multi-year ordeal that began when the Bank of Missouri sued Bruce and Vanese Hampton and retained Trackwell to track assets.

Thompson said that although the Bank of Missouri case had been dismissed and in the settlement the bank had paid millions to the Hamptons, Trackwell continued to stalk them and their son, Scott.

A stalking protective order was filed Dec. 7, 2010, said Thompson. Trackwell was charged with two orders of violating his release agreement. Trackwell said he did so because the Hamptons were committing unlawful behavior.

Thompson said, “It was not his responsibility to insert himself.”

Nov. 11, 2011, Trackwell was ordered to wear a monitoring device. Thompson reported that in 365 days, the device was not active 258 of them.

After a September hearing, Thompson said the device “mysteriously” started working.

In April Trackwell was arrested for violating his stalking order. The day after his arrest he drove by the Hamptons’ house three times in Wallowa County Commissioner Paul Castilleja’s vehicle.

According to Thompson, Trackwell is a three-time felon whose criminal history includes a second-degree attempted sexual assault for which he served part of a sentence in the Nebraska Department of Corrections in the 1990s.

Thompson said, “He has no respect for judge’s orders and has repeatedly filed bogus claims and has delusional thinking. His behavior is egregious and disrespectful.”

Thompson asked for two 60-day to six-month sentences, supervised probation with the monitoring device installed when appropriate and a mental health evaluation due to repeated violations.

“Stalkers in general, and Trackwell in particular, do not process objective information,” Thompson said in his statement.

Victoria Moffet, public defender assigned to Trackwell, requested 18 to 24 months bench probation and a suspended sentence to prove that he can comply with orders. If there were sentences, she asked they run concurrently.

“My client’s family has holdings in Imnaha and there is no one to take over the management and no one to oversee the cattle,” said Moffet.

Trackwell addressed the court, “The deck was stacked against me when I walked into court. I know what I was doing was right. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Trackwell also excused his actions by saying he was directed by Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen. Judge Baxter countered and said, “The sheriff suggested that you document. He did not direct you to ignore the judge’s order. Judge West’s order was very clear.”

Before Trackwell’s April arrest he was observed slowing down and backing up in front of a police officer’s home and looking into the house with binoculars. The officer was seen looking back at him with binoculars, said Judge Baxter.

“That was obviously a violation and very deliberate,” the judge added. “And in October 2011 you took the sheriff’s directive to take a picture if someone was behind you – instead, you pulled in front of Scott Hampton and then took a picture of him behind you.”

Judge Baxter continued, “In November, 2011, we went through the motions. I told you I’d be helpful to you, but not to screw with my orders. When I go through a court process and have my robe on, I expect my order to be followed.”

In addition to two consecutive six-month jail terms, Trackwell was sentenced to 36 months supervised probation and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and receive treatment from a therapist, if necessary.

Rahn Hostetter, attorney for the Hampton family, said on sentencing, “Not seeing any remorse at sentencing, the Hamptons remain concerned that when (Trackwell) is released they will continue to have no local law enforcement protection in light of Trackwell’s evident relationship with County Commissioner Paul Castilleja and Sheriff Fred Steen.”

Trackwell and Moffet appeared via video from Union County Jail, Judge Baxter appeared via video from Baker City, and District Attorney Thompson appeared via video from La Grande. There were more than 30 people in attendance at the Wallowa County Courthouse.