Atascadero mayoral runner-up avoids prison, for now
June 3, 2016
A former Atascadero mayoral candidate, who received 40 percent of the vote in 2014, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that settled two court cases against him and secured his release from the county jail. However, Charles Scovell will receive a prison sentence of seven to 14 years if he violates his probation, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. [Tribune]
Scovell, 37, pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He received a sentence of five years of felony probation, and prosecutors dropped several charges.
In March 2015, Scovell allegedly drove under the influence and crashed his vehicle into a tree and fence in Atascadero. Scovell then tried to flee the scene, according to the Atascadero Police Department. Prosecutors charged Scovell with DUI and hit-and-run.
This January, while still facing those charges, Scovell engaged in a nearly four-hour standoff with police. When officers responded to a call reporting a man hitting a woman with a beer bottle, Scovell barricaded himself and his mother in an Atascadero home. The victim remained outside.
During the standoff, officers cut of the power to the home. Scovell then contacted his attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, who came to the scene and convinced the Atascadero man to surrender.
Following the incident, Scovell pleaded not guilty to charges that included assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, threatening violence, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, dissuading a witness and resisting an officer.
Under the plea agreement reached Tuesday, prosecutors dropped all charges in both cases, with the exception of the two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Scovell had been in jail since January. He was released after agreeing to the plea deal.
The terms of Scovell’s probation state he may not contact his victim, use alcohol or drugs or enter a bar for five years. Scovell must also comply with terms set by the Adult Treatment Court, a program for adults with mental health needs.
Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said, by law, Scovell must immediately be sentenced to seven years in state prison if he violates probation. The terms of Scovell’s release state he can be sentenced up to 14 years in prison if he re-offends before a July 28 progress hearing.
Scovell must stay in a sober living facility at least until the July 28 hearing.
Funke-Bilu said Scovell is the nicest guy in the world, but he recently developed serious substance abuse problems. Scovell wanted to seek treatment, Funke-Bilu said.