Man pleads guilty to reduced drug charge, gets 10 years in prison

Phillip M. Futrell, initially facing methamphetamine trafficking and manufacturing charges, had the trafficking charge dropped and the manufacturing count reduced to possession with the intent to distribute at his Thursday guilty plea hearing.

But even with one charge out of the way and the other cut down in severity, the 44-year-old still faced five to 30 years in prison, a prosecutor said.

Attorneys didn’t agree to a negotiated plea, meaning Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. had no official recommendation to consider.

Assistant District Attorney Sadhana Dailey wanted 10 years in prison, followed by six on probation. Defense attorney William Kendrick Jr. preferred four or five years in prison.

In the end, Jordan was closer to Dailey’s suggestion, sentencing Futrell to 10 years in prison, followed by five on probation.

Futrell’s charges stemmed from an Aug. 26, 2009, complaint to a Ticknor Drive home. When officers arrived, they found two people at the home, though Futrell wasn’t one of them, Dailey said.

The man and woman at the house let officers inside, where they saw drug items in plain view. After getting a search warrant, they discovered more than an ounce of a meth mixture, the prosecutor said.

The woman at the home, who’s listed as a co-defendant in court records, is willing to testify against Futrell. Also, Futrell has a meth conviction from 2004, Dailey said.

Kendrick, however, said his client’s plea was in his best interest. Futrell no longer lived at the Ticknor Drive home, and at the time was in Atlanta. In addition, the man and woman at the home when officers arrived both had recently been released from prison.

Kendrick added that a man asked to move out of the home could be responsible for tipping off police in an attempt at revenge.

After hearing from both attorneys, Jordan pronounced the sentence.