The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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August 6, 2013

New sentencing for man in meth case

CLINTON — A Camanche man will serve as much as five years in prison for allowing a methamphetamine lab to operate in his home where his 11-year-old grandson was living.

District Court Judge Mark Lawson ordered Charles McKenrick, 59, to serve no more than five years in prison each for a count of possession of methamphetamine precursors and a count of child endangerment, in connection with a May meth bust. The charges will run concurrently. He was fined $750 for each count, which were suspended.

Lawson initially rejected the terms of McKenrick’s plea agreement on July 25, disagreeing with Assistant County Attorney Amanda Meyers’ recommendation of a suspended sentence. Meyers had explained that the defendant was facing the foreclosure of his home when he allowed his daughter, Kimberly A. Lane, her boyfriend, Nathan T. Green, and his grandson to live with him.

Camanche and Clinton police conducted a search warrant on May 17 at McKenrick’s home, 620 Third Ave., Camanche, based on an investigation of Green and Lane beginning in January.

Lawson was appalled that McKenrick exposed his grandson to a meth lab and was adamant that he should receive some prison time. The sentencing was rescheduled to allow the defendant to consider his plea.

Lawson asked McKenrick on Thursday if he wanted to take back his guilty plea, but he decided not to. Meyers once again recommended a suspended sentence.

Defense Attorney Bruce Ingham said he would like to see a deferred judgment of suspended sentence for his client, but understood from Lawson’s previous statements that would not happen. He continued that McKenrick hopes to move forward and receive substance abuse treatment.

Lawson expressed happiness at the defendant’s willingness to change, but based on the seriousness of the crime, decided prison time was necessary. He waived the mandatory minimum sentence.

“Mr. McKenrick, I wish you the best of luck,” Lawson said. “Let’s get you some help, get you back in the community, get you back to work.”

McKenrick must pay court costs and provide a DNA sample. His driver’s license was revoked for 180 days.

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