On March 23, 2005, represented by another lawyer, B.E. plead no contest to trafficking in oxycodone and possession of under 20 grams of cannabis. On July 19, 2005, the defendant was sentenced to a 15-year minimum mandatory prison sentence (with a $100,000.00 fine), with a one year sentence for the misdemeanor to run consecutively to the trafficking charge. Needless to say, she was not enthusiastic about the sentence.On August 16, 2005, Jeffrey H. Garland filed a motion seeking to set aside the plea and sentence. The key reason for doing so was that the plea was entered before a formal charge was filed and that, therefore, the court lacked jurisdiction.
The defense motion was granted on September 8, 2005. At that time, Circuit Judge Gary L. Sweet entered an order setting aside the plea and vacating the sentence. The case was returned to the trial docket for further proceedings.
The defendant subsequently entered into a negotiated plea calling for just three years in prison. She was later re-sentenced on March 21, 2006, in accordance with the three year agreement.
State v. B.E., St. Lucie County Case No. 05-CF-857