SIOUX CITY | Heaven Zevenbergen asked that she be given another chance to successfully complete her probation rather than be sent back to prison.
On probation for teaming with a friend to stage a bank robbery, Zevenbergen admitted she both smoked and possessed marijuana in August and had also quit her job for two months, all violations of her probation.
"I made a mistake, but I want another chance," she said Thursday in Woodbury County District Court. "I am very motivated to successfully complete probation."
District Judge John Ackerman didn't revoke Zevenbergen's probation or send her back to prison, but gave her a 30-day jail sentence and warned her about the consequences of future violations.
"I hope you spend that time and think about what it would be like to go back to prison. If you violate again, that's probably where you're going," Ackerman said.
Zevenbergen, 19, of Holstein, Iowa, and Angelica Perez, of Sioux City, both were sentenced to five years in prison in February for second-degree theft for staging a robbery at the Security National Bank branch at the Hy-Vee store on Hamilton Boulevard. She and Perez pleaded guilty to the August 2015 incident in which Perez went to the bank in disguise and passed Zevenbergen, who was a bank employee, a note demanding cash and saying she was armed. Zevenbergen then gave Perez $10,000, most of which was never recovered.
In May, District Judge Jeffrey Neary reconsidered their sentences. He ordered them released from prison and placed them on probation for five years.
After her August arrest for drug possession, Zevenbergen was sentenced in Ida County to two days in jail, and the Woodbury County Drug Court treatment program in which she participates required her to serve an additional three days.
Zevenbergen faced a return to prison for her violations.
She said she relapsed after being hospitalized in July and she had stopped taking her medication for depression. Since her arrest, she has gotten married and resumed taking her medication, Zevenbergen said.
"I've been very, very happy," she said.
Her attorney, Brian Buckmeier, said Zevenbergen has paid more than $3,700 toward her restitution, has resumed working and has a husband and several family members who support her.
"I think she could complete her probation successfully if given another chance," Buckmeier said.
Probation officer Jared Nobbe testified that Zevenbergen had not attended substance abuse treatment sessions since late September.
"Her attitude seems like she wants to participate in treatment. However, she lacks the follow through," Nobbe said. "It doesn't appear that she wants to make the necessary changes."
Once Zevenbergen completes her jail sentence, she will continue with her probation.