Schizophrenic man caught with over 80 pounds of pot sent to jail.

August 28, 2017

Sean Pheney with is attorney, Mary Chartier-Mittendorf.

Schizophrenic man caught with over 80 pounds of pot sent to jail.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 42-year-old New Era man, who suffers from schizophrenia, was sentenced to serve five months up front of a six-month discretionary jail term Monday, Aug. 28, in 27th Circuit Court for a felony conviction of of delivery/manufacture of 5-45 kilograms of marijuana.

Sean Ryan Pheney, of 7113 S. Scenic Dr., was arrested following a State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT) investigation after he attempted to sell 10 pounds of marijuana for $18,000, said Judge Robert D. Springstead. SCCENT investigators then found nearly 74 more pounds of marijuana at his home, Springstead said.

Pheney pleaded guilty to the charge, July 3.

His attorney Mary Chartier-Mittendorf told the judge Monday that Pheney suffers from the mental disease, schizophrenia. The attorney requested that the court consider suspending his sentence. Pheney has “suffered from significant delusions,” Chartier-Mittendorf said, describing him as a “seriously mentally ill man.”

The attorney said her client is now “maintaining a productive path” and jail will interrupt that.

The judge said he had “sympathy for (Pheney’s) position and condition” and “commended” him for working to get better. However, Springstead said a jail term was necessary due to the large amount of marijuana that was seized.

The judge said the community cannot have “80-plus pounds of marijuana.”

“It sheds a bad light for those who need medical marijuana,” he said.

“I would like to apologize to the courts and everyone else,” Pheney said. “I’ve been feeling a lot better now that I’m taking my medications.”

Sentencing guidelines in the case were 0-6 months, the judge said, and he sentenced Pheney consistently within the guidelines. Springstead gave Pheney credit for one day served in jail and also ordered two years probation. Pheney’s driver’s license was also suspended for six months with a restricted license after 30 days.

The judge said he would keep an eye on Pheney’s mental health progress while he is incarcerated.

“I’m hoping they accommodate your mental condition in the jail,” the judge said to Pheney. “They have mental health professionals to help you there. If I hear they can’t accommodate your medications, and if you’re starting to fall apart, we can take a look at it. I don’t’ want to harm your mental health.”

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