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Defendants make good

Dec., 2015, Indiana

Despite two drug-possession cases in the last few years, Jermal Lee Norris had some good news to report on Thursday at an Indiana court hearing.  He had qualified for a commercial driver’s license, which landed him a couple of jobs, he told Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell, showing her the pay stubs to prove it. And the prosecutor in the most recent drug case was also impressed with Norris’ testimony on behalf of the state in an unrelated fatal child-abuse case. That defendant, Cesar Castenada, was sentenced to more than 29 years earlier this month, the Post-Tribune reports.

After a complicated bench conference, the court determined that Norris had credit for earlier time served that could be applied to his current case and granted the government’s motion to eliminate probation that initially had been part of his cocaine-possession plea deal.

Boswell told Norris she was proud of him and stepped down from the bench to give him a hug. “This has made my day. That’s my Christmas present,” she said.

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