Mom who lost case on TV enters diversion

Mother and son appeared on 'Swift Justice' episode

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 
photoHazel Trent of Vancouver leaves Clark County Superior Judge John Nichols' courtroom with her service dog, Max, in May. She entered a diversion program Tuesday related to accusations of stealing more than $3,000 from her son. She already paid back $5,000, and will pay $1,800 more.

(/The Columbian)

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A Vancouver woman accused of stealing from her son in 2011 will avoid a felony conviction if she stays crime-free for the next year.

Hazel E. Trent, 52, was approved Tuesday for a Clark County court diversion program, which dismisses charges in exchange for staying out of trouble for a year and paying restitution and court and attorney fees.

The diversion program is generally offered to first-time offenders charged with nonviolent offenses.

Trent will be required to pay about $800 in restitution, $1,000 in diversion program fees and to-be-determined court and attorney fees, said her court-appointed attorney, Barry Brandenburg.

Trent is accused of stealing her son's debit card and withdrawing more than $3,000. She was charged with second-degree identity theft and second-degree possession of stolen property.

She and her son, Michael Trent, appeared in 2012 on CBS' "Swift Justice with Jackie Glass" to resolve a civil suit the son filed related to the accusations. Glass awarded him $5,000 through a binding arbitration process.

The Clark County Sheriff's Department then investigated the accusations. She was summoned to appear in court on the accusations on May 14 and was later found to be eligible for the diversion program.

"It worked out exactly as it should, since the victim recovered the money from the show … and it gives her the opportunity to do everything right," Brandenburg said.


Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; paris.achen@columbian.com.