Brewer pleads guilty to two drug charges

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Warren County man who pleaded guilty to two drug charges Friday man might be sentenced under new guidelines that go into place next month.

Benjamin Brewer, 33, whose address is not available, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance during a hearing Friday afternoon before Circuit Judge M. James Chaney.

Chaney set sentencing for 10 a.m. July 16, after an overhaul of Mississippi criminal law goes into place at the beginning of the month.

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Brewer is represented by Jerry Campbell.

Prosecutors made no recommendation for how long Brewer should spend in jail.

“Our only recommendation is to follow the sentencing guidelines that go into place next month,” Assistant District Attorney Bert Carraway said during the hearing.

Under the new set of laws, Brewer will be guilty of possession of more than 2 grams but less than 10 grams of methamphetamine and possession of two dosage units of oxycodone. The new guidelines list a maximum combined sentence for the crimes is 11 years — eight years for the meth and three years for the prescription drugs.

Under the current guidelines, Brewer could spend 24 years in prison — one year shy of a sentence for aggravated assault or home invasion.

Brewer seemed like a different man than the one who appeared in Warren County Justice Court on Feb. 21 after being arrested with several grams of methamphetamine in the potent, smoke able form known as ice.

He smiled at family members seated in the gallery and talked cheerfully with deputies before pleading guilty.

“It’s a bad thing, but it probably saved my life,” he said to one deputy before court started.

In justice court, Brewer had looked sickly and struggled to maintain himself, frequently speaking out of turn and jittering.

The oxycodone case stems from Brewer being arrested Oct. 4 on a misdemeanor warrant. During the arrest, police found two pills of the powerful prescription painkiller in his pocket, District Attorney’s Office intern Josh Dixon said.