Hearing held over X on probation form

State corrections is very particular about paperwork

Two years ago, Judge Todd Cresap crossed out probation conditions that do not apply to convicted sex offender Daniel Elwell Sanderson but neglected to mark an X by a probation condition that did.

The Department of Corrections did not like the way that Cresap filled out the probation form.

“The original Appendix has nothing checked,” wrote a state official. “Does that mean (Sanderson) has all the conditions with the exception of the ones not ruled out? I haven’t had an Appendix look like that before.”

To clarify the probation conditions – and to make sure Cresap marked “X “ in the proper spot – the state paid to transport Sanderson from the James River Correctional Facility in Jamestown to Minot on Tuesday for a court hearing before Cresap.

“Seriously?” the incredulous judge asked. Everyone, from Sanderson to the judge to Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson cracked up laughing.

Sanderson, 27, is due to be paroled on Nov. 28 to a Fargo facility. The confusion was over a modification Cresap had made in one of his criminal judgments that allowed Sanderson to drink, but not to excess. Sanderson said in court on Tuesday that he has no problem with a probation condition that bans him from any use of alcohol at all.

Cresap routinely goes over probation conditions whenever he sentences defendants and says that he will cross out any of the probation conditions on the form that do not apply to them.

Larson said that Cresap’s standard mode of operation may be too confusing for state officials.

Larson asked Cresap to “put x’s in those boxes (that apply to Sanderson) so that it’s very clear” to the state officials.

“Against every fiber of my being, I’m going to approve” the conditions, said the exasperated Cresap.

Larson explained that the state is very particular about the way that forms are filled out. Sometimes forms are sent back to her office with instructions to fill them out a certain way if they are not done to the satisfaction of the Department of Corrections.

Sanderson has a December 2015 conviction in district court in Ward County for exposing himself to a young girl.

In March 2016, Sanderson attracted attention when he worked for two weeks as the Easter Bunny at Dakota Square Mall, a violation of the terms of his probation. His probation was revoked and he was also sentenced to prison in the fall of 2016 for failure to register as a sex offender.

In September 2017, Cresap revoked Sanderson’s probation and sent him back to prison for 3 1/2 years for violating the terms of his probation.