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Northwood man charged with breaking into police barracks to get drugs from car loses plea deal
Mackenzie may now either try to strike a new plea deal with prosecutors, or head to trial on charges that could land him in state prison for up to 3½ to 7 years if he is convicted by a jury.
After being indicted last April, Mackenzie was being considered as a candidate for Rockingham County’s drug court, which is a judicially supervised treatment program for substance abuse offenders designed to reduce recidivism.
Public defender Anthony Naro argued to Judge N. William Delker that prosecutors should not have been able to suddenly withdraw from the deal after he spent months negotiating with former Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid, who resigned in January, according to court records.
Naro emphatically dismissed those assertions about his client, whom he described as someone who spent months trying to wean himself off methadone so he could participate in drug court.
Delker concluded that Mackenzie did not have any constitutional right to enforce the plea bargain, but warned “the state should not lightly cast aside its plea agreements.” The judge said that Reid worked diligently to resolve the case, and only after Reid resigned did the state “withdraw its willingness to resolve the case with drug court supervision.”
“This decision involves matters of important public policy that should not be limited to the confines of this case,” Delker said in an eight-page order.
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