STILLWATER — A Cushing man was given a five-year prison term Friday by a Payne County judge for failing to pay back child support, now totaling $31,773.

Eleven years ago, Vernon Scott Turner was ordered to pay $350 per month for the support of his three children, who were then ages 3, 4, and 9 and living in Creek County.

At the time that he was criminally charged two years ago, Turner owed $24,423 in back child support, court records show.

Six months ago, while he was in the Payne County Jail, Turner, 45, pleaded guilty to failure to pay child support and was released on a personal recognizance bond.

When Turner failed to appear in court for his sentencing in March, a bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Turner, who has been in custody since Aug. 1.

In court Friday after prosecutor Kathy Thomas recommended a five-year prison term for Turner, defense attorney Todd Higgins attempted to withdraw Turner’s guilty plea — which was denied by Payne County District Judge Donald Worthington.

When the judge asked Turner why he hadn’t complied with a court order to appear for a background report, Turner said he couldn’t get a ride.

When the judge asked why he hadn’t paid his child support, Turner said he couldn’t get a job because he couldn’t get a ride.

The judge ordered Turner, when he is released from prison, to begin paying $31,773 in restitution for back child support.