By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A Box Elder man on probation for a 1986 homicide has been given a chance to remain on probation after being convicted of driving without insurance and testing positive for drugs.
District Judge John Warner did not order Peter Malcolm Sutherland, 42, to return to prison, but cautioned strongly against future charges.
"You get a violation, you're gone," he told Sutherland. "I will give you 30 days for spitting on the sidewalk."
Sutherland served 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to mitigated deliberate homicide in the stabbing death of Randy Stuker, and has been on probation since his release in 1993. He was sentenced on Sept. 28, 1987, to 25 years in prison with 15 years suspended. He could be returned to prison if found guilty of violating the conditions of his release.
Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke the suspended sentence after Sutherland admitted to smoking marijuana and driving without insurance early in 2002.
The violation was the latest of several since 1996, when Sutherland was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving without insurance. According to court records, Sutherland also tested positive for using methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana on several occasions while on probation.
He was ordered to attend inpatient treatment in 1999.
Sutherland told Warner prior to Monday's sentencing that he would accept any judgement that Warner rendered.
"I know I'm not a perfect man," he said. "I've got my faults, but I would like to be a father to my children."