OROVILLE — An ill Paradise man today received a mid-term prison sentence in connection to possessing methamphetamine for sale.
Larry Willis, the attorney for Ronald Lee Karkellie, said his client may receive better care for chronic medical conditions within the state prison system. Willis said he was appalled at the Butte County Jail”s medical care for Karkellie, 44, who suffers from AIDS and a drug-resistant staph infection called MSRA.
Supervising deputy district attorney Mark Murphy said the defendant”s medical records didn”t match Willis” claims.
Butte Count Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman sentenced Karkellie Wednesday to five years, eight months for several cases. The principle term was applied to a March 14 conviction for possessing drugs for sale.
Ten days after that conviction, police arrested Karkellie after discovering eight-tenths of a gram of meth at Karkellie”s Circlewood Drive residence. Officers also found several pipes for smoking the drug as well as plastic bags and scales with meth residue.
On June 1, Karkellie entered a no-contest plea for the March 24 incident.
Prior to sentencing, Glusman noted probation had recommended an upper term of six years, eight months. He said the report noted Karkellie reportedly started using drugs at age 12. The judge was incredulous about the defendant”s claim of using a half-ounce to a full ounce of meth each day.
Karkellie also reportedly denied what he previously told officers and attempted to minimize his actions in each case.
Today”s hearing was fairly contentious, with the judge telling Karkellie not to argue when the defendant began disputing aspects of the cases he had entered no-contest pleas on.
Glusman also said he didn”t want an in-depth conversation about a proposed treatment program. He also noted the court doesn”t have a record of Karkellie seeking treatment.
At Willis” request, Glusman recommended for the record that prison officials immediately place Karkellie at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville for treatment.
Karkellie said he planned to file an appeal.