LOGAN — A judge has released Jeena Nilson from jail, sentencing the 61-year-old Providence woman for the time she has already served, after being convicted of failing to register as a sex offender. Judge Kevin Allen expressed appreciation for her willingness to converse with him, after previously taking her into custody for defiant outbursts in the courtroom.
Nilson appeared in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, to determine whether she was competent to stand trial. The hearing was scheduled after the court ordered she be evaluated by a psychologist.
Judge Allen ruled Nilson was competent, even though she had refused to cooperate with the doctor’s evaluation. He said, “The court has observed the defendant over the years and read the fillings she has filed. Nothing in that leads me to believe she is incompetent.”
Nilson’s behavior was noticeably different Wednesday. She apologized for her previous demeanor and explained the situation had been difficult and gone way beyond reasonable bounds. She said, “I don’t want to continue to wear each other out. I know I have been convicted of these charges but only god knows my heart.”
The defendant later expressed hope of seeing her family again, noting that she missed spending the holidays with them while incarcerated in the Box Elder County Jail. She went on to tell the court, “I am very tired and beat down. I never had any intention of running amok.”
Judge Allen also expressed exhaustion, noting that the defendant and those supporting her had filed over 500-pages of documents in her defense. He said he had read every page, trying to determine whether she is ready to re-enter society and abide the laws.
State attorney Jacob Gordon agreed that the case had been a “long haul.” He reminded the court, it had been 15-months since Nilson was found guilty of failing to disclose her social media accounts and work at a gym, in her sex-offender registry. He said, “I am grateful to hear that she is accepting responsibility for this. I hope she has learned her lesson and won’t have this problem moving forward.”
In October, Nilson was removed from the courtroom and taken into custody, after she refused to approach the stand during her sentencing, on three counts of failing to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony. There were two similar outbursts, later in the month and again in November.
During Tuesday’s court appearance, Nilson acknowledged that she didn’t know the law as she tried to represent herself. She said the last several years had been a learning experience.
Judge Allen said he had tried to respect her rights and follow the law the best he could. He sentenced Nilson to serve 90-days in jail but ordered her be released immediately, giving her credit for the time she had already served. He also placed her on probation for one-year and ordered her to write a study of what the sex-offender registry rules require.