Daugherty sentenced to 15 years on conspiracy charge

Wanda English Burnett

After hearing from Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel, defense attorney Bill Dillon, a pre-sentence investigation report, and the defendant himself, Judge Carl Taul sentenced Jason Q. Daugherty, 33, of Versailles, to 15 years in prison.

It wasn’t necessarily the recommendation of the probation pre-sentence report or the defense attorney, but the prosecutor was happy with it. “I think the Judge gave the case a lot of consideration,” Hertel told the Osgood Journal just after the sentence came down on Monday afternoon in Ripley County Circuit Court.
Dillon asked of the judge, “Do you put them (drug addicts) in jail and throw away the key?” He said he felt that through the right kind of treatment his client could be a productive member of society.

The sentence was given after a jury found Daugherty guilty on a Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth on September 30. However, Daugherty did not attend the last day of trial and police had to round him up for the sentencing.

Judge Taul told the defendant, “Frankly, Mr. Daugherty, there’s not a lot that leads me to believe that probation would be good for you.”

The Judge cited several probation revocations Daugherty had on his prior criminal history record. He said while Daugherty’s criminal history is not severe, it’s lengthy. He also noted that he felt due to the fact the defendant owes more than $30,000 in back child support, picked up an additional criminal charge while on probation, that he doesn’t respect the court or the legal system.

He ordered that the balance of the $5,000 bond paid by Daugherty would go to his children for child support arrears, after administrative fees were taken out.

Dillon had asked for a more lenient sentence saying that his client was addicted to drugs and had never had the chance for rehabilitation. While Daugherty did not take the stand during trial, he did speak at the sentencing hearing. When asked why he cooked meth, he replied, “To feed my habit.” A habit he says he still struggles with. He told the court the reason he didn’t show up for the last day of trial was to get high.

The court would hear that Daugherty has had a drug problem since high school when he used marijuana and some meth. While it wasn’t crippling in the early part of his life after school, he became a heavier user of meth and by 2006 was in serious trouble with the drug habit.

The Judge said “I cannot ignore reality,” and told the defendant through programs of the legal system, he could possibly have his prison sentence reduced by half. But, he would have to avail himself to the GED program, furthering education and have good behavior.

Two Ripley County Jail employees escorted the defendant along to court from the Ripley County Jail, with Chief Deputy David Pippin.