Comments Off on Meth and gun charges draw life term for Paradise man

OROVILLE — A man with two prior strikes was sentenced to 55 years to life in state prison Wednesday for a 2008 case involving drugs, a firearm and a meth lab.

Jesse Michael Wasson, 40, of Paradise, was sentenced in Butte County Superior Court after a judge denied motions for a new trial and to eliminate one of two prior strikes, according to defense attorney Jesus Rodriguez.

During a court trial in January 2010, Judge Clare Keithley convicted Wasson on felony counts of concealing a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possessing hashish and possessing and manufacturing methamphetamine. He was also convicted of obstructing a police officer, online court records show.

Rodriguez, who became Wasson’s attorney after the trial, said outside of court he sought to remove a prior strike for criminal threats. He said California’s three-strikes law was amended after Wasson’s prior conviction to include criminal threats as a strike.

While the charges in the current case were serious, Rodriguez had hoped the judge would remove one of the strikes because the case wasn’t a crime of violence and no one was hurt.

Rodriguez said Wasson intends to appeal.

Deputy district attorney Elizabeth Norton said outside of court that Wasson had been on bail for two other felony cases when he was arrested in the current case. She said Butte County Sheriff’s deputies spotted Wasson driving erratically in Oroville in April 2008. When deputies attempted to contact the defendant, he ran.

Eventually, deputies apprehended Wasson and reportedly discovered on him meth, hashish, a needle and a loaded gun. A subsequent search of Wasson’s residence reportedly revealed a meth lab in his garage, surveillance equipment, and additional meth.

Norton said Wasson’s prior strikes included the threats and first-degree burglary with an enhancement for firearm use.

Wasson received a 25-to-life term operating the meth lab and a second 25-to-life term for the offenses stemming from his traffic stop. He must serve at least 50 years in state prison before being eligible for parole.

Wasson received an additional four years for two prior prison terms and another year for the misdemeanor resisting an officer.

As a result of Wednesday’s sentence, three other cases were dropped, including a recent case where Wasson was charged with fighting in Butte County Jail.

Norton said the sentence was appropriate because Wasson has exhibited a continued pattern of violence and the defendant has shown no signs of reforming based on his conduct in jail.

“I think Mr. Wasson is exactly the kind of offender the three-strikes law was intended for,” she said.

 

 

 

http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_20748793/drug-and-gun-charges-draw-life-term-paradise

 

Comments are closed.