Probation was reinstated Monday for a 32-year-old man who owes nearly $50,000 in back child support after he admitted using methamphetamine and heroin.
District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Mark Duncan to successfully complete Western Regional Drug Court as part of his reinstated probation. If he fails, Duncan faces prison.
He also ordered Duncan to serve 25 days in Douglas County Jail with credit for time served. Duncan was taken into custody Oct. 3 for the probation violation.
Duncan was sentenced in April to five years probation and ordered to pay child support at a rate of $257 per month.
He told Gibbons on Monday he lost his job at the Johnson Lane General Store, but had other employment opportunities.
He also admitted that he failed to notify his probation officer that he had moved to Carson City.
Duncan said he and his fiancee have a newborn son. He owes child support for a daughter from a previous marriage.
Duncan said he dropped out of court-ordered counseling because he could no longer pay.
"I had some personal challenges and I made bad decisions," Duncan said.
Duncan's attorney, Tod Young, said his client's biggest problem was drug use.
"When you're using heroin and methamphetamine, you're going to die," Young said.
Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said she would encourage Duncan to participate in drug court.
"It's something I've wanted for this young man from the beginning. I hoped he would choose drug court to get his life back on track. If he doesn't, it's an unfortunate choice for himself and his family," Trotter said.
Gibbons said it would be up to the drug court judge to determine what kind of drug treatment Duncan needs.
"If you can't stay clean, everything else falls by the wayside," Gibbons said.