Herald Staff Writer
---- — CLINTON — A district court judge has rescheduled the sentencing of a Camanche man connected with a May methamphetamine bust.
Judge Mark Lawson rejected Assistant County Attorney Amanda Meyers’ recommendation of a suspended sentence for Charles McKenrick, 59, on Thursday. McKenrick pleaded guilty on June 27 for possession of methamphetamine precursors and child endangerment.
Both charges are class D felonies and each carry as much as five years in prison and between $750 and $7,500 in fines.
“This defender does not seem to have a serious criminal history,” said Meyers, recommending a suspended sentence. She added he does have some substance abuse and mental health issues.
Meyers explained to the court that the defendant’s house was in foreclosure, when he allowed his daughter, Kimberly A. Lane, her boyfriend, Nathan T. Green, and his 11-year-old grandson to live with him to raise funds.
According to court affidavits, Camanche police began investigating Green and Lane in January, observing suspicious pseudophedrine purchases. Camanche and Clinton police conducted a search warrant on May 17 at McKenrick’s home, 620 Third Ave., Camanche.
Meyers said it seems like McKenrick being in a bad financial position was a factor in him allowing this to happen. She pointed out that it does not alleviate his culpability completely, as he did allow it to go on in his house. Meyers also noted that he had the least amount of psuedoephedrine purchases among all of his co-defendants.
“I think Mr. McKenrick just quit caring at some point and turned a blind eye to the meth manufactured in his home,” said Defense Attorney Bruce Ingham, emphasizing that his client suffers from depression. He asked McKenrick’s sentences run concurrently and be suspended.
Lawson was only willing to give the defendant a sentence of incarceration, as the pre-sentencing agreement recommended. He disagreed with Meyers contention that McKenrick’s role in the crime was minor. Lawsom was most troubled by the presence of the defendant’s 11-year-old grandson in the house.
“The dangers of exposing a child to a meth lab in your home is almost incomprehensible,” Lawson said.
McKenrick’s plea agreement was contingent on a suspended sentence. He could now reverse his plea. Lawson rescheduled the sentencing for next Thursday to allow McKenrick to consider his options.
Nathan Green, Lane, David P. Shamp and Seth A. Green also were charged in May, after the execution of the search warrant. Tonya Palmer also was arrested July 2 in connection with the meth lab.
Shamp and Lane have both accepted plea agreements. Nathan Green’s trial is set for Aug. 12.