Convicted Meth manufacturer Ronnie Dabney was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 30th District Court Monday afternoon.
Assistant District Attorney John Gillespie said he was happy with the sentence and the message it sends to the community. He said, "The District Attorneys Office is committed to aggressively prosecuting those who make and sell meth in our community. We will go after them and we will ask for large sentences...that's what this trial shows."
The lengthy trial began in September and was briefly delayed after Dabney failed to show up for closing arguments on September 20th. Despite not being in court, Dabney was convicted on the 20th and a new warrant was issued for his arrest.
During Sentencing arguments today the Defense team argued Dabney's actions were a result of substance abuse, including alcohol. But Gillespie said Dabney was a violent offender who showed contempt for the court from the start.
On the stand, Dabney testified he never sold meth, but the D.A's Office said his involvement was enough to warrant a heavy sentence. Gillespie said, "Mister Dabney's portion was in providing the facilities where meth was made. He was a party to the offense and were going to get people not only those who cook meth and not only those who sell meth but those who assist in the process."
The 30 year sentence is double the minimum, but only half of what the prosecution asked for. Still, Gillespie is pleased with the judge's decision. "It is a significant sentence. The bottom line is the judge protected the community and he sent a strong message that those who make meth and those who sell meth in our communities are going to be aggressively prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office and judges and jury's have no tolerance for them."
Dabney will be eligible for parole after serving 25% of his sentence. He's been credited with 164 days so far.