Chariton County Associate Circuit Judge Michel L. Midyett sentenced Jerry D. George, 38, of Gilliam, to varying terms of from three to 10 years in Missouri Department of Corrections at a hearing Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Saline County Courthouse.
Midyett then placed George in a 120-day institutional treatment program at DOC, to begin immediately. If George completes that program successfully, he could be released on probation by mid-summer 2009.
George is the son of Saline County Sheriff Wally George. The sheriff was not present at the sentencing hearing.
When George's attorney, Phillip D. Sachs, objected to the immediate incarceration of his client, Midyett reminded him that George was fully aware of that possibility and "has had plenty of time to put his affairs in order."
George was sentenced to 10 years for the class B felony of distribution, delivery, manufacture or production or attempt to or possession with intent to distribute, deliver or manufacture or produce a controlled substance.
He was further sentenced to four years for each of three class C felonies of possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone and Valium, and three years for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joby J. Raines, arguing for the state, said the seriousness of the charges against George warranted a stiff sentence.
"This was not a situation where the accused was just 'using,'" Raines said. "(This was) a more sophisticated, very serious situation, with cameras, drug scales, manufacturing tools …"
Sachs argued for leniency for his client, suggesting he be kept in the community, where he has a job.
"He cooperated with police," Sachs said. "When he was arrested, he didn't try to hide. He's going to Narcotics Anonymous, has maintained full-time employment. It's totally inappropriate to give him 10 years."
Midyett pointed out the positives for George, citing his employment and high-school education as things that counted in his favor, but rejected Sach's argument that he'd been cooperative with police.
"(There was) some degree of cooperation," Midyett said, "but you wouldn't give the names of others who were involved."
Midyett added, "You were in the process of manufacturing. I have a problem agreeing that (it) was for your own use. That bothers me."
Speaking directly to George after the sentence was imposed, Midyett said, "Be successful in the (ITC) program. Take an interest in the program, so I'm assured you're not using or selling. I hope you are successful … I think you will be."
George was arrested Aug. 31, 2007, and charged with six counts of felony possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture controlled substances. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, 2008; sentencing was delayed until after a presentencing investigation ordered by Midyett.
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