Inmate claims sentence for failing to support child debtors prison
A man serving a long sentence for multiple instances of driving under the influence is challenging his conviction for failure to provide for a minor child, saying it amounts to debtor’s prison.
Patrick Kevin McKinnon, 62, who once reportedly said “It would be a cold day in Hell before she gets any money from me,” was sentenced to 2-5 years in prison in May 2016.
Attorney Paul G. Yohey challenged the conviction saying that under the Nevada Constitution someone may not be imprisoned for debt.
State law makes failure to support a minor child a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
On Tuesday, District Judge Tod Young set an April 1 evidentiary hearing in the case.
The case has been percolating for more than a year.
Young said he put it on the calendar because he hadn’t heard from attorneys since June 2018.
In court documents, Yohey said McKinnon’s defense attorney didn’t explore the possibility that the state law dealing with support of a minor child might be unconstitutional.
McKinnon, who once appeared in Douglas County District Court with alcohol on his breath, is serving a 6-15-year sentence for a subsequent felony instance of driving under the influence. According to Washoe County, he failed to stop and rear-ended another driver. He had a .32 blood-alcohol content when the November 2015 wreck occurred.
At the time of his May 2016 sentencing, McKinnon owed more than $50,000 in back child support. He admitted the charge in July 2015 and faced up to five years if he failed to make payments.