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Pratte sentences man to 12 years in prison

FARMINGTON – Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte sentenced Daniel Laws under the terms of the plea agreement despite the prosecutor’s request to sentence him to more time in prison.

Laws, 25, whose last known address was in Doe Run, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for two counts of possession of a meth precursor and one count of possession of a chemical with intent to create a controlled substance.

During the sentencing hearing, Prosecuting Attorney Wendy Wexler Horn asked not to be bound to the 12-year cap that was agreed upon in a plea agreement worked out by her office and his attorney, Kathleen Aubuchon. As a side to the plea agreement, his bond was reduced to $10,000 and Laws was ordered to appear for his sentencing date and not commit any new criminal offenses.

Horn argued that Laws did commit new offenses in between the time he pleaded guilty Dec. 17 and his sentencing Feb. 18.

“I filed new charges this week,” she said “I feel he did not hold up his end of the bargain.”

Horn also argued that Laws did not cooperate with the State Board of Probation and Parole who was compiling a presentence investigation report for sentencing. She said he failed to make an appointment with them.

She asked the judge to sentence Laws to the maximum amount of time – 15 years.

But the judge said he did not feel that the arrest in itself was enough to prove that Laws had committed a new offense. He said he could not set aside the plea agreement based on charges.

Horn said she fully intends to go forward with the new charges.

On Feb. 15, Laws, and the woman he lived with, 22-year-old Andrea Kennedy, were charged with Class B felony attempted manufacture of a controlled substance, Class C felony possession of a controlled substance, and Class D felony possession of a meth precursor drug with intent to manufacture.

The Class B charge carries a sentence of five to 15 years. The Class C felony charge carries a sentence of up to seven years while the Class D charge carries a sentence up to four years in prison.

Laws was arrested Feb. 11 for allegedly possessing meth and a search warrant was issued for Laws’ residence in Doe Run Feb. 14 after officers received information he was manufacturing meth at his home.

Officers reportedly seized a functioning meth lab inside the residence.

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