POCATELLO — A man sentenced last August with felony principal to aggravated battery for an armed invasion of a Pocatello home to obtain prescription drugs was placed on probation Monday.
Nicholas J. Covert, 20, and three other men were involved in a forced entry of a Wilson Avenue home last April in order to obtain methadone. During the incident, two individuals in the home were beaten, one suffering a severely broken jaw and nose.
Covert was sentenced to a five-year fixed, 10-year indeterminate sentence but was placed on a rider, a 180-day non-prison setting disposition that addresses underlying criminal behavior. Successful completion of the program is often the basis for a probationary sentence.
At his August sentencing, former Sixth District Judge Peter D. McDermott noted that Covert was “lucky” to get the chance at the rider. Program authorities indicated Covert made the most of his chance, recommending probation.
“I learned a lot from it,” Covert told Sixth District Judge Robert Naftz. “It definitely has put my life in a new direction.”
Covert noted that he had received a GED diploma while attending his rider.
“I also learned how it can be behind bars and that’s not what I want with my life,” he said.
Naftz suspended Covert’s sentence and placed him on probation for 10 years, the length necessitated by the more than $25,000 in restitution to the beating victim that Covert is liable for if the other co-conspirators do not make payment.
Covert will be required to pay the victim $300 per month beginning in June.
“He’ll probably always be in pain,” Naftz said of the victim, who was present in court. “The very minimum you can do is pay restitution.”