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Juneau man sentenced in cocaine case receives encouragement

Posted: April 6, 2011 - 9:32pm

A Juneau man who pleaded guilty to charges relating to cocaine possession and violating conditions of release was sentenced in Juneau Superior Court on Wednesday.

Samuel Burrous was sentenced to two years and 60 days for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a class ‘C’ felony and being out of the sight and sound of his third-party custodian, his mother.

The charges stem from a Jan. 9 incident where Burrous possessed cocaine while on probation.

Burrous will be on probation for three years after incarceration and must attend a treatment program while incarcerated and then when released.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said she has learned a lot of positive things about Burrous.

“He is a very talented musician and will hopefully continue to produce music,” Williams said. “I have also learned a lot of negative things, that he will disobey the court and risk criminal prosecution of his mother to obtain drugs.”

Williams mentioned visiting the grave of Jimi Hendrix and said it would be unfortunate if that were what Burrous was remembered for.

“He should be known for his talents not for his failures,” Williams said. “He has family that cares about him. He is not the youngest offender, but not the oldest by any stretch.”

Defense attorney Kevin Higgins said “It was a long and eventful run with Mr. Burrous. I can honestly say it was a pleasure to get to know him in my office, his mother’s house, and at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.”

Higgins went on to say that the parties were not here because Burrous hurt another person or damaged property “but because he is an addict and did what addicts do and now we are here because he will do what many addicts do and that is serve time.”

“It is difficult for me,” Higgins said. “Everybody recognizes his talent, it goes beyond playing the guitar, he is very intelligent and a deep thinker.”

Burrous read from his written statement stating no hard feelings for the person who turned him in and is hoping his family would forgive him and they could all come together.

“I also know I need to seek treatment,” Burrous said.

Collins stated that this was a case where everybody was in agreement.

“It is intensely obvious that you have great talent,” Collins said to Burrous. “You have the ability to make a difference in the world, you are also your only worst enemy. As you know we have lost a number of great musicians to drugs. I order you to attend whatever substance treatment is available in jail; following your release I encourage you to attend more. The greatest numbers of successes I see are the people who participate in these programs.”

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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