BY: RAY KING

An Arkansas prison inmate who has been held since 2006 has failed to convince the Arkansas Supreme Court that his sentence was illegal.

Kedrick Darrough Sr., 43, was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver cocaine and possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver marijuana in Drew Count Circuit Court in 2006 and was sentenced as an habitual offender to a total of 940 months in prison.

Darrough, who is currently being held at the Tucker Unit, contended that Drew County Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson Jr. erred when he imposed the sentences but the high court disagreed.

In his petition, Darrough argued that although he had a prior drug related conviction, it was in the State of California in 1997 and therefore he was a first-time offender in Arkansas and his sentence was not subject to enhancement.

He had made the same argument in a previous appeal which was denied by the circuit court and affirmed by the supreme court.

Writing for the high court, Associate Justice Courtney Rae Hudson said that Arkansas law provides that anyone convicted of a second or subsequent conviction “shall be imprisoned for a term of up to twice the term otherwise authorized.” She went on to write that this includes a prior conviction “under any statute4 of the United States or any state related to a narcotics drug, marijuana, depressant, stimulant or hallucinogenic drug.”

Hudson wrote that Darrough was not convicted of simple possession of marijuana and cocaine but rather possession with purpose to deliver and were legally enhanced under state statutes.

According to the Arkansas Department of Corrections website, Darrough will be eligible to apply for parole in 2039.