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A 20-year-old man”s inability to stay within the law while on probation for a felony conviction of cruelty to animals has caused him to be sent to a state prison for six years and eight months.

Collin James Lovejoy, who received a suspended prison sentence in 2008 for using a rifle to kill and wound pets and farm animals in rural Lincoln, twice violated his probation in drug-related incidents in 2009.

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹ Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

⤹Roseville: June 20- 23! ⤸

That led Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols to send  Lovejoy straight to prison last week.

In May 2008, Lovejoy, then 18, pleaded no contest to eight counts of cruelty to animals and Nichols gave him a one-year jail sentence and placed him on formal probation for five years with the understanding that any violation of the probation terms could send him to prison.

Last summer, Lovejoy was stopped by a law enforcement officer who reported finding drug paraphernalia in Lovejoy’s vehicle. In a subsequent court hearing, Lovejoy admitted violating probation.

As he awaited sentencing for the violation, he was arrested again on Nov. 15 for another drug offense. He admitted the violation on Jan. 29 in court.

Prosecutor Jeff Wilson of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office said Lovejoy failed to take advantage of a break given by the judge when she had suspended his prison sentence.

Judge Nichols gave him a chance in this case, but the defendant proved that he wasn’t worthy of that chance,’ Wilson said.

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