Utah federal Judge Bruce Jenkins rejected defense requests for probation for a chemist, described by his defense attorney as a paranoid-schizophrenic, convicted of making designer drugs and sentenced him Friday to three years in prison.
"I'm not particularly impressed by the psychiatric argument," said Judge Bruce Jenkins, ruling Barry T. Eagan's mental condition "didn't preclude him from fully understanding what he was doing.""This particular case has given me personally quite a bit of difficulty. It seems highly appropriate that somebody who knows better be subject to punishment," Jenkins said.
Defense attorney Mary Corporon said Eagan, 31, Salt Lake City, was suffering from his "very serious" mental condition, alcoholism and a cocaine addiction when he was manufacturing the amphetamine drugs "Eve" and "Ecstasy," sold commonly to yuppie drug users.
Eagan has gone through substance abuse therapy, is on medication for his mental condition, has enrolled in graduate school at the University of Utah and was working as a mathematics and science instructor at a private school, Corporon said.
"It's all well indeed to send messages to the community" with stiff sentences for drug dealers and manufacturers, she said, "but not in this one particular case." The courts also should send out the message "that to correct an error is somehow rewarded. Don't throw away the effort he has made."
Prosecutor Paul Warner said the jury that convicted Eagan two months ago "rightfully rejected the insanity defense." Eagan has a mental condition, Warner said, "but not a severe impairment."