Drug dealer seeks reduced sentence Judge makes no decision

June 15, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Saying an intensive drug treatment program would serve her and society better than a two-year stint in state prison, convicted Westminster cocaine dealer Diane Lynn Wisner yesterday asked a Carroll County judge to modify her sentence.

"It is great for society and the convicted person when somebody has a chance to be renewed and rehabilitated," Stephen P. Bourexis, Wisner's lawyer, told Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold in a court hearing.

Wisner, 34, pleaded not guilty Oct. 27 to one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, but agreed to allow prosecutors to present a statement of facts with enough evidence to convict her of the felony. In exchange for the agreement prosecutors dropped five other charges and agreed to a suspended sentence.

Wisner was arrested by Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officer in December and charged with a new round of cocaine possession and distribution counts. Her trial in that case is scheduled for next month.

In January, Judge Arnold imposed a two-year sentence in the October case. He did not rule yesterday on the sentence modification request.

Mr. Bourexis asked the judge to suspend the prison sentence, modify the conviction to a simple possession charge or give Wisner probation before judgment, which would allow Wisner to erase the conviction from her record if she successfully completed probation.

He said Wisner would benefit from an inpatient drug treatment program.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III asked the judge to keep Wisner's sentence intact. He noted that, if the judge changes her conviction from a felony distribution count to a misdemeanor possession count, she would not be eligible to be sentenced under the state's so-called "two-time" loser statute.

Mr. Walker is seeking such a sentence in the July case. If Wisner is convicted of another drug felony in that case, she could be sentenced to a mandatory 10 years without parole.

"She's in one of the best drug-rehab programs there is," the prosecutor said, looking toward Wisner. "It's called not getting any [drugs]."

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