Iowa Appeals Court Orders New Drug Case Sentence
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered a new sentence for a man convicted of selling marijuana, concluding the sentencing judge unreasonably tried to force the man to divulge the name of his drug supplier in court.
Dustin VanNess appealed his sentence, saying the district judge who sentenced him unfairly denied him a deferred judgment.
In a deferred judgment a guilty plea is set aside after a defendant completes probation.
VanNess, of Rockwell, was 23 at the time of sentencing last October. A judge gave him a suspended five-year sentence and probation. The deferred sentence was denied.
The Appeals Court ordered resentencing, saying the judge should have considered VanNess' concerns about safety for his family if he gave the name of his supplier in open court.
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