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Missing court adds to Turlock mans prison sentence
Curtis Tipton

A Turlock man earned himself additional time in prison for a driving under the influence conviction after failing to surrender to authorities on his appointed date.

Curtis Herbert Tipton, 53, was sentenced to five years and eight months in state prison for driving under the influence causing injury and failing to appear in court while out on bail. Tipton was initially looking at a three year sentence, but the failure to appear for his court date earned him an additional two years and eight months, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

Tipton’s first arrest happened on May 24, 2013, when he was involved in an auto accident in Turlock. According to the court records, Tipton rear-ended a van stopped ahead of him at an intersection, injuring the van’s two occupants. When contacted by Turlock police officer, Tipton was showing signs that he was under the influence of a drug. A sample of his blood tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the district attorney’s office.

On Sept. 28, 2016, Tipton agreed to plead guilty to the felony charge of driving under the influence causing injury. Pursuant to the plea agreement, he agreed to return to court on October 18, 2016 to surrender and begin his three-year prison sentence. On Oct. 18, Tipton requested additional time to surrender. He was permitted to return to court two days later. On Oct. 20, 2016, Tipton failed to appear in court. The District Attorney’s office filed additional charges as a result of Tipton’s failure to appear in court.

Tipton was arrested Nov. 22, 2016, by Turlock police officers when he was found driving a stolen vehicle in the 500 block of E. Glenwood Avenue.

A month later Tipton pled no contest to the felony charge of failing to appear in court while out on bail. In addition, he admitted an enhancement that alleged he committed a new crime while out on bail for the stolen vehicle.

Deputy District Attorney Bianca Yip prosecuted the case for the People. Her position is funded by a grant provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.