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By Echo Menges
Shelbyville, MO – Friday, July 2, 2021 – Shelby County Associate Circuit Judge Mike Greenwell has ordered a continuance of the sentencing hearing in the criminal case against Amanda Buckman, 44, of Shelbina, in case number 21SB-CR00024-01. Buckman pleaded guilty to financial exploitation of an elderly/disabled person on June 25 and was sentenced to serve five years of supervised probation the same day.
During the sentencing hearing, the victim’s representative was not able to give a statement on behalf of the victim, despite wanting to.
On June 29, Judge Greenwell ordered the case to be placed on the docket to allow for the victim’s representative to be heard in the case, which is required under the Missouri Constitution. Also, under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 119.02-a, The court retains control over a judgment during the thirty-day period after entry of the judgment and may within that time, after giving the parties an opportunity to be heard, vacate, reopen, correct, amend or modify the judgment for good cause.
“The purpose will be for (the victim’s representative) to make a statement to the court. I don’t know if it will have an effect on the Judge or not,” said Shelby County Prosecutor Jordan Force.
“The next hearing is July 9 at 11:00AM,” said Prosecutor Force in an email. “The purpose is because (the victim’s representative) says she could not log on the web link last week. We did not know she couldn’t log on because she never called and told anyone.”
Because the representative is unable to attend the proceeding in person, she will be allowed to make her statement to the court via the courts video link system called WEBX.
According to the court website, courts.mo.gov, the hearing was originally scheduled for Friday, July 2, at 10:00 a.m. The Shelby County Herald attended court that day and was later granted access to the audio recording of the first Sentencing Hearing for Buckman held at 11:07 a.m. on June 25 by the Shelby County Circuit Clerk’s Office.
The nearly 15-minute recording featured the voices of four people including: Judge Greenwell, Force, Buckman, and Buckman’s Attorney, John Russell. The process of the hearing involved Buckman answering a series of questions, which are typical during a Sentencing Hearing.
“Have you ever had any problems with your mental health?” Judge Mike Greenwell asked Buckman.
“Not prior to this incident,” Amanda Buckman replied.
“Are you having problems with your mental health today,?” asked Judge Greenwell.
“No,” replied Buckman.
According to Force, the evidence the Prosecutor would have presented in court included video surveillance of Buckman using the victim’s debit card, bank statements and Buckman’s own admittance to stealing between $10,000 and $11,000 dollars from the victim. Force also told the court that her willingness to accept a suspended imposition of sentence hinged upon Buckman’s cooperation and the fact that she turned herself in.
A suspended imposition of sentence means that if Buckman can fulfill her obligations to the courts and successfully complete her probation, the charge will be removed from her criminal record.
It is unclear if Judge Greenwell will leave the plea agreement in place or modify Buckman’s sentence once he hears the testimony of the victim’s representative this Friday.