Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County jury hands down 20-year sentence in drug case

August 21
16:30 2018

Last week, a Stephens County jury sentenced a Breckenridge man to 20 years in prison for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

Dee Peavy, district attorney for the 90th Judicial District, which includes Stephens and Young counties, said that Roger Dale Norman Jr., age 42, had pleaded guilty to the charges and chose to have a jury assess his punishment. He had turned down a plea deal offered by the district attorney’s office. He had been eligible for up to 99 years in prison.

Roger Dale Norman, Jr.

Norman had been arrested by the Breckenridge Police Department in October 2017 after he was found with more than four grams but less than 200 grams of methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia and items typically used in selling drugs.

“I understand the jury’s basis for what they gave him as a sentence,” Peavy said. “But, most people are unaware of how the parole system works in this state. And, as the district attorney, I’m not allowed during the punishment trial or at all during trial to tell them exactly what a 20-year sentence probably means in terms the time that a defendant will spend in the penitentiary. I think if the public were aware of exactly how quickly most people parole out of the prison system, they would be shocked.”

Norman could be eligible for parole in about two years, the DA said.

Combating drug sales in Stephens County is a priority with the District Attorney’s office and with local law enforcement, Peavy said.

“It is a huge priority for us,” she emphasized. “If people are bringing drugs into the community and selling those drugs and trafficking those drugs, that is my biggest priority because I’ve seen all of the crimes that are a result of that, the property crimes and all the other things that are going on as a result of the drug activity.

“There are so many ramifications of illegal drugs and what they’ve done to our community, just the damage it does to the families, to the children, it’s just horrendous,” Peavy continued. “And the best way to stop that is to get those people who are supplying drugs and trafficking drugs.”

Larry Mahan, Breckenridge Chief of Police, agrees with Peavy about the amount of time Norman will likely serve and about the damage drugs do to the community. “He’s going to get ‘good time,’ he’s going to get ‘time-served,’” Mahan said. “It’s going to be less than 20 years, much less.”

According to the police chief, Norman was a low- to mid-level drug dealer.

“He wasn’t a big shot,” Mahan said. “If you look around, you’ll find we really don’t have any big shots, because, unfortunately, they’re using and selling. And they’re using, probably, all their profits. If somebody sold it and didn’t use it, they’d make money out of it. But, most of our people aren’t making any money out of it.”

He said he hopes the arrest and sentencing sends a message to the other drug dealers in Breckenridge.

“At least they know that we’re coming after them,” Mahan said. “It’s a lot of work to get maybe a little bit done, but it’s worth it. In the end, it’s worth it, not because we sent Roger Norman to jail, but because we stopped some of the drugs from coming into town. There’s a lot good folks in this town who have let that stuff ruin them.”

According to Stephens County Sheriff Will Holt, Norman remains in the local jail, awaiting transfer to a prison.


Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

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