The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 28, 2014

Judge says suspended sentence inappropriate

CLINTON — A District Court judge last week ordered a Camanche man to serve prison time for possession of methamphetamine precursors after deciding a suspended sentence was inappropriate.

Jeremiah Earle, 28, will serve as much as five years in prison for possession of precursors, lithium, with the intent of manufacturing meth, a class D felony. Earle pleaded guilty to the offense on May 1, admitting that he intended to trade the items to support his own drug habit.

“Mr. Earle acknowledges he has a problem and he’s reached a point in his life where he wants to address it,” defense attorney David Binegar said.

The charge arose from a Nov. 22, 2013, incident where Camanche police officers were notified of a theft at Camanche Food Pride. According to court documents, a surveillance video showed a white female, identified as Sonya L. Kenyon and a male identified as Earle. Kenyon was cited for theft and there has been no disposition of the charge yet.

The affidavit continues that after making contact with Earle, police visited his apartment and located his orange backpack containing his identification. A search of the bag produced cold compressed, liquid fire, Coleman fuel, lithium batteries and drain cleaner, according to court documents.

Binegar asked Judge Mark Cleve to order probation for his client, instead of the incarceration recommended by Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow. Binegar said sending his client to prison would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money.

“And certainly, if he messes up on his probation, we can send him to prison then,” Binegar said.

However, Cleve disagreed, based on the defendant’s past criminal history. He said that prison is the best sentence to insure the protection of the public.

Samantha Pidde can be contacted at

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