Knoxville — Gregory Schyler Griffith, 24, pled guilty to, and was sentenced on a drug charge in Marion County District Court this morning.
Griffith was arrested Dec. 29, 2010, with other defendants accused of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine. Griffith was tried in December 2011. The case ended in a hung jury. For this reason, Griffith and his attorney, Richard Phelps, felt an Alford plea would be the best possible resolution for Griffith in this case. In an Alford plea, a defendant recognizes that the allegations against him or her are correct, and would likely result in a guilty verdict, all without confirming a factual basis of their guilt.
"I feel there is a substantial likelihood I could be found guilty," Griffith told Judge Paul Huscher.
Griffith is currently in prison, serving a sentence related to a separate, Mahaska County charge. His sentence for this case, conspiracy to manufacture less than five grams of meth, will be 15 years in prison. The sentence will run concurrent with the Mahaska County charge. Because this is Griffith's second, or subsequent similar offense, he will be required to serve at least one-third of this sentence before he will become eligible for parole.
This plea agreement and sentence were recommended by Assistant County Attorney Tiffany Kragnes, acting on behalf of the State of Iowa. In addition to the prison time, Griffith was ordered to pay a $1,000 plus a 35 percent surcharge, court costs, attorney fees, a $125 law enforcement initiative surcharge and a $10 DARE surcharge.
The Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale was designated as the location where he will serve his time. However, he was transported to court this morning from a facility in Mt. Pleasant.
"The sheriff has the authority to take him wherever he needs to be," Huscher said.