July 29, 2009 10:37:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- The son of a former Starkville Board of Aldermen member was sentenced Tuesday in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court to 15 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections system for dealing cocaine.
In addition to the 15 years, Judge Lee Howard sentenced Michael Self, 51, to five years of post-release supervision and a $5,000 fine. Self, who has prior convictions for forgery and for the sale or transfer of a controlled substance, also must go through a long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation program while in prison.
"Since there is a good indication that, given the repeat offenses, there is a drug problem, I recommend the long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for the defendant," Howard said.
Self, who pleaded guilty to the sale of cocaine Monday afternoon, said little during his sentencing Tuesday morning. His mother, former Ward 7 Alderwoman Janette Self, also left the courtroom in silence.
The charges against Michael Self stem from an incident on June 2, 2007, when he met with a confidential informant in the area of the Brooksville Gardens housing complex, Assistant District Attorney Charlie Hedgepeth said. The informant was working with the Starkville Police Department at the time.
The informant gave Self $40, then Self left the area and returned with .37 grams of cocaine, Hedgepeth said. Unbeknownst to Self, the informant was wearing a hidden camera, which recorded the entire transaction. Self was arrested shortly thereafter.
Bond set in attack on developer
In other court business, one of the six teenagers accused of assaulting a Starkville real estate developer during an attempted robbery last fall was arraigned Tuesday in Circuit Court and his bond was set at $15,000.
Joshua Norman, 15, and five others are accused of robbing developer Michael Kraker as he was walking last November in McKee Park. The group had been breaking into the concession stand and several vehicles when they saw Kraker and decided to rob him, Hedgepeth said.
At one point during the robbery attempt, one of teens hit Kraker over the head with a beer bottle, Hedgepeth said.
According to Hedgepeth, three of the teens indicated in statements to police that Norman was the one who hit Kraker with the beer bottle. Norman spent November through February in Clay County Jail on a $50,000 bond, but has been free since February when his bond was lowered in Starkville municipal court to $5,000, defense attorney Chip Davis said.
Before he set the new bond at $15,000 Tuesday, Judge Howard said $50,000 was "on the high side" and $5,000 was "too light."
"Armed robbery is a serious offense," Howard said.
Hedgepeth called Norman "a danger to the community."
What a Mess commented at 7/29/2009 3:04:00 PM:
It certainly sounds like this man hasn't learned his lesson...but 15 plus years for a drug charge? Would not rehab cost a whole lot less and be less of a burden financially for all of society? I am just guessing...but do you think his Mother or family thinks he is a hardened criminal and wants him in prison? I doubt it. It is amazing to me what is legal and what is not! Locking this guy up for nearly the rest of his life is not the answer. The real criminals are the idiots that think the "war on drugs" is anything more than a farce. Our prisons are loaded with so-called drug offenders. I would rather pot be legalized, taxed, and regulated than alcohol and tobacco any day.
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