By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A man ordered to pay restitution for wrecking a pickup truck has to pay that restitution even though an insurance company paid for the damages, Wyoming’s Supreme Court has ruled.
The court, in a unanimous ruling Thursday, said a state district court was correct in ordering Cory Hudson to pay restitution to the owner of a pickup truck he stole and destroyed.
Justices rejected Hudson’s argument that since an insurance company paid the pickup truck’s owner for the damages, there was no “victim” to receive restitution.
“Under Mr. Hudson’s view, he would owe no one restitution for destroying the $16,998 pickup truck — an absurd result,” said the court’s ruling, written by Justice Kate Fox.
According to the ruling, Hudson stole the pickup and trailer and “embarked on a spree” which led to his arrest on charges of destroying property, theft, possession of meth and possession of marijuana.
Hudson entered a plea agreement under which he pleaded guilty to one count of theft, was ordered to pay restitution for the damaged property and was sentenced to 18 months to 54 months in prison.
In his appeal, Hudson argued he should not have to pay restitution of $16,998 for the pickup truck because the owner’s insurance company already compensated him for his loss.
“His argument that (the pickup truck’s owner) cannot be a victim now that his insurance company has made him whole is … unavailing,” the opinion said.