Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 26, 2013

Breese receives deferred sentence


The Journal Express

---- — Deven Lee Breese, 19, received a deferred judgment on possession of marijuana and bribery of a public official charges on Friday.

Breese was accused of being found with marijuana during a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, in an attempt to avoid criminal charges for the marijuana, he offered the law enforcement officer money.

Breese’s attorney, Jim Hicks, said his client was “a young man who did something fairly stupid.”

The sentence recommended by Marion County Attorney Ed Bull was three years’ probation; one year on the marijuana charge and two for the bribery charge, along with financial penalties and a substance abuse evaluation.

“I don’t think he’s going to mess up,” Hicks told Judge Martha Mertz.

“I don’t know if ‘stupid’ is the right word,” Mertz said. The defendant told her he “wasn’t thinking” at the time he offered the bribe. Mertz continued, “Then I guess it is the right word.”

If Breese follows through, this will be removed from his record via deferred judgment. Mertz said she believes taking a chance on a 19-year-old boy feels like doing the right thing. Bull said Breese is already enrolled in outpatient drug treatment and is taking the treatment seriously.

“You look like a responsible young man,” Mertz told Breese. “Let’s put this behind you.”