Dexter man sentenced to 15 years in connection with drug death

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DEXTER, Mo. — A Dexter man charged in connection with a 2007 death was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week.

Larry Kenton Sanders plead guilty in a New Madrid County courtroom to the Class B felony of distribution of a controlled substance and the Class C felony of involuntary manslaughter.

The charges resulted in a pair of 15-year prison sentences that will be served at the same time.

Sanders' 2007 arrest followed a four-month investigation conducted by the Dexter Police Department into the death of 19-year-old Michael Robinson.

Following Robinson's death, officers were informed that Sanders had allegedly sold 25 to 30 methadone pills to Robinson just prior to the victim's death.

Robinson's body was taken to the Mineral Area Hospital in Farmington, Mo., where an autopsy was performed. Summary findings show that Robinson died of acute levels of the drug methadone in his blood. Also found in Robinson's blood were traces of therapeutic levels of diphenhydramine and Alprazolam and marijuana metabolite.

"In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death and after examination of the body, it is my opinion that Michael Robinson, a 19-year-old male, died as a result of acute Methadone intoxication," the report read. "Manner of death: Accident."

Two witnesses also allegedly came forward stating that they had seen Sanders sell the victim the pills. When brought in for questioning, Sanders allegedly denied having sold Robinson any pills at all.

"I repaired Billy Robinson's car the Friday prior to [Michael Robinson[']s] death and I left a socket set in his car so I returned Friday to retrieve it and Billy wasn't home," Sanders allegedly said in his written statement. "Mike was outside in the carport talking to [an individual] and he turned toward me and extended his hand to show me a blue tablet and then popped it in his mouth.

"He then explained to me that is was morphine and he received if from [an individual]. At no time did I retrieve any cash or compensation from Michael Robinson nor did I give him any narcotic or controlled substance."

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