Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
TYLER GOES TO COURT
This will be the longest post I’ve ever made on this blog. In June of last year, when Tyler was staying in his car in a dense woods, he committed two crimes to get money for drugs and alcohol. That was the Tyler B.C. (Before Christ). In July, he became the new Tyler, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. He had gone through the court system on the first theft and was given probation. Yesterday he appeared before the court on a misdemeanor of trading in electrical equipment he had rented for drugs. This is a letter of support I wrote to the judge yesterday, who read it before deciding Tyler’s fate. He could have been sentenced to 90 days in jail, $1,000 in fines, or both. He could also have been given probation.
Please accept this letter as a testimony to the character of Tyler XXXXXX who will be appearing before you today.
I have been Tyler’s spiritual mentor since May of 2016, when I first met him at the Wright County Jail during a Gideon Bible Study. I am fully aware of his sordid past of drug use and theft. I’m also aware that the Tyler standing before you today is not the same Tyler who has had such a shameful past.
In July of this year, Tyler became a follower of Jesus Christ while in a rehab center in Minneapolis. During my decade in prison ministry, I have seen prisoners who claim to have a conversion experience but really haven’t. They are pretenders. I have followed Tyler closely to make sure his conversion was the real thing and that he was not one of the pretenders.
Tyler has called me at least twice a week while at New Hope Center in Minneapolis, and I have met with him in person there and at his court hearings in Buffalo. Once I drove him back to New Hope after a court hearing. I know this guy well, and he is now a solid Christian who has repented of his past and has vowed to take a different path as a different Tyler. I have been heartened and encouraged in my own faith as I listen to this young man plan out his future and confess his reliance on God.
I have been present in the courtroom in all Tyler’s court dates, and I am here in person today. And I will be present in Tyler’s life for as long as he needs me. He has accepted me as his mentor and has also established a network of friends and associates who encourage and support him and are there for him. He has stepped away from the friends and bad influences that caused him so much trouble.
There are, of course, consequences for crimes, and I ask you that the consequences be in the form of probation and any restitution required. Tyler’s is a life worth investing in. I believe his will be a life of a contributing member of society and a positive influence on others. I already use him as an example to present inmates that there is a life of hope out there and that Tyler has found it.
Tyler was given probation.