Repeat defendant sentenced to 10 years

Yacolt man, 38, was acquitted of felonies twice in the past year

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: February 29, 2012, 7:25 PM

 

“This has been a really, really tough year.”

Those were repeat defendant Nathan Gadberry’s final words Wednesday before being sentenced to 10 years in prison on drug charges. The sentence includes a two-year enhancement because the jury returned a special finding that the crimes were committed in a school zone.

The 38-year-old Yacolt man, who was acquitted of serious felonies by juries twice in the last year, was convicted by a jury on Feb. 10 with co-defendant Danielle Newton of possession of methamphetamine and possession with intent to deliver. Newton’s sentencing was postponed so the judge could consider her for the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, which would combine treatment with the sentence.

In handing down his sentence Wednesday, Clark County Superior Court Judge Scott Collier said he would not consider the other two trials because Gadberry was not convicted. But he said he would consider the more than five felony convictions on his record, as well as numerous misdemeanors.

Gadberry’s court-appointed attorney, Jason Bailes, had asked the judge to also consider the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative for Gadberry. The attorney said his client was an addict, but not a ringleader of methamphetamine dealing in Clark County.

“It’s not a shock to the evidence that, yes, I’m a drug addict,” Gadberry said, when it was his turn to speak. “I don’t go out robbing people. I’m a drug addict.”

That’s contrary to Deputy Prosecutor Randy St. Clair’s argument for a maximum sentence. He said Gadberry had a history of violent behavior, including misdemeanor assault convictions.

Last May, Gadberry went to trial on suspicion of being an accomplice to a shooting and robbery at the Red Haven Apartments. He had claimed he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when two other men beat a resident and shot him in the hand in the victim’s apartment. He avoided first-degree assault and first-degree robbery convictions.

After becoming tangled with the law again the next month, Gadberry was arrested and accused of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary charges for allegedly barging into a home and demanding $100 from a resident.

Gadberry’s defense when he went to trial in November was that he knew the alleged victim and the man owed him money. Gadberry also said the alleged victim voluntarily got in his car and left the home with him.

At last month’s jury trial, evidence showed Gadberry was found with drug scales in his pocket and 4.8 grams of methamphetamine in his car in December.

Clair asked for the high end of the sentencing range of 84 to 144 months because of “his inability to come into the community without committing serious crimes,” he said.

Gadberry will receive credit for 82 days he’s already served in the Clark County Jail.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.