A Leesville man’s claim that his sentence in a drug case was excessive has been rejected by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal.
Ricky Rexrode asserted his three-year sentence for possession of meth is excessive on the part of 30th District Judge Scott Westerchil.
Rexrode was also initially charged with possession of hydrocodone, possession of paraphernalia, another CDS II possession count, a legend drug without prescription count and one of speeding, 35 in a 25.
When stopped for speeding, Rexrode granted permission to the officer to search his vehicle. The search revealed a crystal substance, which turned out to be meth, in his right front pocket. Additionally the officer found a smoking device in the vehicle.
Rexrode pleaded guilty to the meth and paraphernalia charges, and the other counts were dismissed.
Rexrode, 49, is a single father of four and has worked as a mechanic and dispatcher for a cab company. He also provides care for his parents.
He cited mitigating circumstances that he claimed should have resulted in a lesser sentence. Judge Westerchil found Rexrode, who has been on probation five times since 1995 with three out of five supervision periods terminated unsatisfactorily, needed correctional treatment or a custodial environment.
The appellate court noted Westerchil, like all trial judges, has wide discretion in the imposition of sentence within the statutory limits.
Rexrode claimed his sentence is excessive because his crime has no real victim since the meth he had was for personal consumption. He says he is an addict, but the 3rd Circuit noted none of his prior convictions were for drug offenses. His only violent conviction, years ago, was for simple battery.
The reviewing panel found no disproportionate aspect to the sentence and said the three-year sentence doesn’t appear to “shock the sense of justice.”
“The trial court stated that Mr. Rexrode did not appear to respond favorably to probation (in previous instances) and posed an undue risk that he would commit another crime,” the 3rd Circuit noted.