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Judge denies reduced sentence in cocaine case

Judge denies reduced sentence in cocaine case

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BLOOMINGTON - A 17-year prison term for a Bloomington man convicted of selling cocaine will not be reduced, according to a judge's ruling Thursday.

In a handwritten motion filed since his incarceration in state prison, Lavar Ware asked Judge Kevin Fitzgerald to reduce the sentence handed down in July.

The 26-year-old is in prison for selling cocaine to a police source in February 2006.

At Ware's sentencing hearing, a Springfield psychiatrist testified that Ware may be easily manipulated by others. The man's mother told the court that her son suffers from a learning disability that makes it impossible for him to handle his own financial affairs.

Assistant State's Attorney Pablo Eaves argued the term is not excessive given the possible range of six to 30 years for the sentence.

"He's a young man and he'll be young when he gets out. He will have a possible future when he gets out - that's up to him," said Eaves.

Fitzgerald pointed out that Ware's criminal history began at age 14 and continued until the drug transaction, his fifth felony, early this year.

"This was a serious sentence but I think it was appropriate," said the judge.

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