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CLINTON — A Clinton man was granted a suspended sentence in connection with a drug case.

Danny A. Douglas, 50, 612 Eighth Ave. South, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, third offense, a Class D felony. Douglas entered an open plea to the charge in September.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers recommended the court order a sentence not to exceed five years be suspended. She cited the pre-sentence investigation report recommendation that Douglas to serve a sentence of incarceration despite scoring as a low risk for future crime or victimization, stating the recommendation was “surprising and a little confusing.” Myers stated despite having a lengthy criminal history, Douglas’ last serious offense was a drug offense in 2005. Myers said the State did not believe Douglas should be ordered to serve a term of incarceration based on his criminal history prior to his 2005 offense.

Defense attorney David Zimmerman requested the court grant Douglas a suspended sentence. Zimmerman stated Douglas has no significant criminal history since 2005. He said Douglas had a small quantity of marijuana and was not involved in drug trafficking. He referenced the PSI report, stating Douglas scored as a low risk to the community and a low risk for future victimization.

District Court Judge Mark Lawson ordered a sentence not to exceed five years be suspended. Douglas was given credit for time served in the Clinton County Jail. Douglas was placed on probation for two years unless sooner released. A $750 fine was suspended. Lawson cited Douglas’ criminal history, having virtually no violations in the last 12 years, the offense not being violent and Douglas taking the arrest seriously as reasons for ordering the suspended sentence.

“Marijuana is not legal here,” Lawson said. “Until it is, especially for you, marijuana just has to be off limits.”

According to the affidavit, officers on July 14 were dispatched in reference to a female calling the police to say Douglas was arguing with her and breaking things around the house. An officer upon arrival noticed the male was leaving on a bike and going through the alley westbound. The officer caught up with the male, who was identified as Douglas.

The affidavit states the officer spoke with Douglas, who smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and watery eyes. Douglas stated his wife woke him up and he got upset. Douglas stated he drank around 12 beers in a four-hour period. Douglas was slurring his words as he spoke with the officer. Douglas consented to a preliminary breath test and blew over a 0.2.

The affidavit states the officer placed Douglas under arrest for public intoxication. Douglas stated he had a bag of marijuana in his front pocket. The officer found a clear plastic bag with a green, leafy substance in it, consistent with marijuana. The officer also found a blue and silver pipe with residue in it.

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