On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Joseph D. Trout accepted a guilty plea by Gary McKeehan, 52, Carbon, as part of a negotiated plea agreement with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office for a class B felony dealing in methamphetamine in an amount more than 3 grams.
Three lesser counts initially charged in the case -- operating a vehicle after forfeiture of license for life, resisting law enforcement and battery resulting in bodily injury -- were dropped in the matter.
Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger explained to The Brazil Times because the charges would have been served concurrently and would not have added any more time to McGeehan's prison sentence, they were dropped as part of the agreement.
According to information provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Department at the time of the incident, on Aug. 15, 2008, McKeehan refused to pull over during a traffic stop by a sheriff's deputy. Instead, he sped away at a high rate of speed into a driveway, stopping before striking a row of trees and ran away. Officers later discovered McKeehan left a large sum of cash and a white crystallized substance believed to be methamphetamine in a bag inside the truck.
Usually, if a suspect is convicted of a class B felony, the highest charge filed against McKeehan at this time, the advisory sentence issued by the state for a guilty conviction/plea agreement is 10 years (with a range of 6-20 years) in prison. However, after reviewing McKeehan's extensive criminal history, Reberger said McKeehans' involvement in numerous incidents of the same type of illegal use and abuse of narcotics and controlled substances led his office to request the higher sentence recommendation of 14 years.
Reberger said McKeehan would serve 12 years, complete two years of formal probation upon release from the IDOC, be allowed good time credit, if earned, and given credit for 272 days previously served at the Clay County Justice Center.
If deemed eligible, Trout recommended McKeehan participate in the Clean Lifestyle Is Freedom Forever (CLIFF) Program during his incarceration at the IDOC.
Reberger confirmed McKeehan is in custody awaiting processing and transport to the IDOC.