- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

GAYLORD, Mich. (AP) - The state appeals court says a northern Michigan judge went too far in sentencing a man to at least 20 years in prison for selling heroin that caused the death of an 18-year-old in Gaylord.

The court says the reasons given by Otsego County Judge Dennis Murphy didn’t justify a sentence that exceeded the guidelines.

Anthony Beaty admitted selling heroin to someone who supplied it to Aubrey Checks. She died of an overdose in 2011.

Beaty pleaded guilty to delivering a drug causing death. His guidelines called for a minimum sentence of seven to 11 years, but the judge believed 20 was more appropriate.

A judge must give “substantial and compelling” reasons to go outside the guidelines. The appeals court says Murphy’s reasons were improper.

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