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Zeb Lanham

 2014 Update

Zeb is back competing in the PRCA like nothing happened. While everyone deserves a second chance, this guy was on probation through the 2014 season (ended October 16, 2014). The PRCA couldn't even wait for him to get off probation for beating his girlfriend so badly she had to be airlifted to a hospital. So much for the PRCA's alleged "Cowboy Ethics". The truth is the PRCA couldn't care less about domestic violence.

And on top of that, the PRCA has the nerve to partner with an anti-domestic violence group at the same rodeos Zeb is competing at - while he's on probation for felony domestic abuse! The PRCA can't have it both ways. Either they partner with this group and do something like ban people from competing who are currently on probation for domestic abuse or they let him compete, but don't partner with Man-Up.


 

Bullrider-pleads guilty to domestic violence charges


 

PAYETTE — The felony domestic violence case against professional bullrider Zeb Lanham concluded last week much as it was intended to end in February.


Zebulan Marcus Lanham
Payette Sheriff Department
Lanham, Sweet, pleaded guilty to the felony domestic battery charge and was sentenced April 16 at the Payette County Courthouse after Judge Stephen Drescher accepted the same plea agreement terms he rejected in February.
 
Lanham was charged with felony domestic violence in November after he was arrested following a Nov. 3 incident at the residence of his then-girlfriend, Kimberly Butler, 22, with whom he shares a child. According to the police reports, Lanham caused “great bodily harm with traumatic injury” to Butler’s face, which sent her to the hospital for injuries including a broken cheekbone and swelling that apparently put pressure on her brain.

Lanham pleaded guilty in December after a plea agreement was reached, but at his sentencing in February, Drescher did not accept the accord, and the case was reset.

Payette County Prosecutor Brian Lee said, at the time of the previous change of plea hearings, after Lanham agreed to plead guilty and accepted specific terms by the prosecuting attorney’s office, the victim registered an objection to the court, and that did not happen the second time.

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According to the Idaho Department of Correction website, Lanham was released from prison on October 15, 2009 and placed on Parole/Probation until October 15, 2014.

“To my knowledge, the agreement was the same the first time and the second time,” he said.

Lanham was sentenced to a 10-year unified prison term with the first five years fixed and the second five indeterminate. However, included in the plea agreement was the stipulation the judge retain jurisdiction of the case, allowing Lanham to complete a rehabilitation and education program. So Lanham was remanded to North Idaho Correctional Institution situated at Cottonwood for 180 days, in which he will complete the rider program, and attend the treatment classes set for him.

“What they actually do is, in part, determined by the charges they were convicted on,” Lee said of the rider treatment program.

After those 180 days, Lanham will return to the court and, based on the recommendation from the Idaho Department of Corrections on how Lanham did in his program, the judge will likely either order Lanham to serve the remainder of his sentence or waive prison time in favor of probation on the condition he cannot break any of the terms set.

Lee said he has seen the rider program both work and fail.

“I think, the success of anybody who goes on to do a rider is, in part, determined by whether that person wants to succeed,” he said.


Man charged in violent beating episode of girlfriend
 
 


FRUITLAND — A Sweet, Idaho, man and professional bull rider was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence following an incident that occurred Nov. 3 in Fruitland.

Zeb Lanham, 24, was arrested Nov 3 following an incident at the residence of Kimberly Butler, 22, his girlfriend and the woman with whom shares a child.

“A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he turned himself in on Nov. 4,” Payette County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Lee said Wednesday. “He is still in custody last I know. The court set a $200,000 bond in this case.”

Lee said police are still gathering evidence, so what he can say about the case is limited. According to the police report, however, law enforcement officials were called following an argument between Lanham and Butler. Lanham was reported to have caused  “great bodily harm with traumatic injury on Butler’s face,” according to the police report. A Fruitland police officer interviewed Butler, who is also pregnant, at Holy Rosary Medical Center, where she was being treated. She was later transported by LifeFlight Air Ambulance to a Boise-area hospital for treatment of her injuries. Those injuries include a broken cheekbone and swelling that was apparently putting pressure on her brain, according to the police report. According to the police report, Butler entered a neighbor’s house to call 911 after she sustained her injuries. Lanham is scheduled to appear Monday in Payette County Court for his preliminary hearing.



Bullrider pleads guilty at arraignment session



PAYETTE—A professional bullrider charged with felony domestic violence pleaded guilty following a plea agreement during his arraignment Friday in Payette County District Court.

Zeb Lanham, Sweet, 24, was arraigned Friday morning and pleaded guilty in relation to an incident Nov. 3 in Fruitland. According to police, Lanham caused “great bodily harm with traumatic injury” on the face of his girlfriend, Kimberly Butler, 22, which sent her to the hospital for injuries including a broken cheekbone and swelling that apparently put pressure on her brain. Payette County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Lee said guilty pleas are not unheard of at arraignments, and prosecutors had been working out a plea agreement in the case after the preliminary hearing.

One of the terms of the agreement is that Lanham be sentenced to a 10-year unified prison term with the first five years fixed. The plea agreement also stipulates Lanham pay restitution, although the terms of that have not been decided upon yet. The prison sentence, however, comes with the stipulation at the Feb. 19 sentencing date, the prosecutors will recommend the judge retain jurisdiction of the case, allowing Lanham to complete a rehabilitation and education program, which usually lasts between four to six months, Lee said. Following the completion of the program, depending on the results, the Idaho Department of Corrections could recommend to the judge Lanham serve probation or serve the original sentence, or the judge can go ahead and impose the original sentence anyway.

 “Based on the totality of the circumstances of the case, we determined that was an appropriate plea agreement in this matter,” Lee said.

In Idaho, if a person has not been convicted of a prior felony offense, it is unlikely he or she would go to prison for the initial conviction, regardless. Under the current plea agreement, Lanham will have to demonstrate prison is not the best option before a final decision is made.

Lee said, based on his records, Lanham does not have a prior felony conviction. According to Idaho Department of Corrections records, however, Lanham is facing misdemeanor battery charges in Gem County in a case that has been scheduled for jury trial. Lee said, while that case remains unresolved, it is impossible to say whether it will have any impact in Lanham’s sentencing or affect possible probation opportunities if his treatment program is completed successfully.

“Other crimes are always relevant to sentencing, however, if they’re not yet resolved ... then their relative weight is difficult to determine,” Lee said.

Another possibility to all this, however, is the sentencing judge could reject the plea agreement all together Feb. 19, in which case, the plea agreement could be withdrawn and Lanham could opt for a jury trial, Lee said.