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Woman accused of delivering crack cocaine gets deferred judgment

MASON CITY – On Monday, March 5th, 47-year-old Donya Marie Lee received a deferred judgment on a Class C felony charge of delivery of crack cocaine.

Donya was originally arrested on June 17th, 2011 by the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department for delivery of crack cocaine following a narcotics investigation.

Donya had spent much of the past nine months being pulled in and out of the Cerro Gordo County Jail on numerous warrants for violations of pre-trial release issues and failing to appear to court, each time being released without bond to the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

Donya was also charged with one count of accessory to murder following the shooting death of Brandon Crawford on August 9th that occurred in the Casey’s parking lot beside her home. That charge was later dismissed according to court records “in the interest of justice”.

Court records show on January 18th Donya had a plea change hearing on the delivery of crack cocaine charge and sentencing was then set for March 5th. At sentencing on Monday District Court Judge Stephen P. Carroll handed down a deferred judgment in the case. As part of the judgment Donya was directed to complete two hundred hours of community service, and will be on probation with the Iowa Department of Corrections for five years.

A deferred judgment refers to a postponed or delayed judgment. In a deferred judgment, the court gives a defendant an opportunity to complete a probationary period before sentencing and prior to any entry of conviction. If the defendant successfully completes probation at the conclusion of the probationary period the court will review the defendant’s file and may dismiss the charges against him/her.

If the defendant does not follow all of the terms and conditions of probation the court may enter the conviction and sentence the defendant accordingly. Normally, if a person pleads guilty or is found guilty of new criminal charges the case proceeds to sentencing. When a deferred judgment is obtained the case is frozen between the guilty plea and sentencing.

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