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Plymouth man gets 6 to 15 years for selling lethal dose of fentanyl

Union Leader Correspondent

August 15. 2018 12:37PM
Joseph MacDonald, left, stands with his attorney, Jeremiah Newhall, during a hearing Tuesday in Grafton County Superior Court during which MacDonald pleaded guilty to selling Carlton Messinger a fatal dose of fentanyl. (John Koziol)

An oversized photo of the late Carlton Messinger, who died at the age of 24 on Oct. 23, 2014 at his family’s home in Holderness, rests on an easel Tuesday morning in the courtroom of Justice Lawrence MacLeod in Grafton County Superior Court. The photo was directly in the line of sight of Joseph MacDonald, of Plymouth, who later pleaded guilty to selling Messinger what turned out to a fatal dose of fentanyl. (John Koziol)

NORTH HAVERHILL — A Plymouth man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to selling the fentanyl that caused the overdose death of Carlton Messinger on Oct. 23, 2014.

On Tuesday, Joseph P. MacDonald, 40, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty on one count of possession and distribution of fentanyl, death resulting.

Justice Lawrence Macleod sentenced him to six to 15 years in state prison, as well as 480 hours of community service and to make restitution of $5,995.25. MacDonald could have two years taken off his minimum sentence, said MacLeod, upon his good behavior and completion of drug treatment and education programs.

MacLeod on Tuesday acknowledged that “there are no good answers to this situation.”

Tara Heater, who is an assistant Grafton County attorney, said the state wanted MacDonald to be sentenced to a minimum of 7.5 years in prison, with a third of the minimum potentially suspended.

General News Courts Crime North Haverhill

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