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Court upholds conviction for drug-related death

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld the conviction and 23-year prison sentence of a Blackfeet Reservation woman for the drug-related death of another woman.

Rosemary Houston sold prescription methadone to Trina Bradford for $2 a pill, leading to Bradford's subsequent overdose in October 2001. After a jury trial, Houston was convicted of distributing a controlled substance resulting in death.

Houston challenged her conviction and sentence of 276 months for the crime. She said government prosecutors failed to show that she should have known selling the drugs would "reasonably" lead to death.

The 9th Circuit said in response that all the government had to show was that Houston sold the methadone to Bradford and that the methadone killed Bradford.

Get the Story:
Court upholds conviction of Browning woman in prescription drug death (AP 5/10)

Get the Decision:
US V. Houston (May 9, 2005)

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