Theodore Berkey -- #03837-196

30 Years -- Marijuana / Methamphetamine Conspiracy

Theodore Berkey, prisoner of the drug war
My case involved marijuana, which I admitted to, and that is why I plead guilty. However, one of the confidential informants in the case testified that methamphetamine was also involved. This is not true, and I believe it was added because methamphetamine carries so much more time.

My attorney, George Roylston, told me that prior to being sentenced I would receive an evidentiary hearing, at which time all this would be sorted out. After fourteen months, I had not received anything from Mr. Roylston by mail: no discovery, no answers to my letters, no copies of pleadings or court orders, and no Presentence Report. I learned that my codefendants had all received their Presentence Reports.

Theodore Berkey, prisoner of the drug war__________ Theodore Berkey, prisoner of the drug war

I was told by my probation officer that I should have received mine a month earlier, and she mailed the report to my attorney. I saw it only because I asked a friend to go to Roylston's office, make a copy and send it to me. When I finally got it, I called Mr. Roylston and told him I objected to everything in it except my name. Again, I was promised that everything would be ironed out at the evidentiary hearing. I never had this evidentiary hearing which would have resulted in a sentence of four to five years for the marijuana I actually sold. As a result of Mr. Roylston's failure to represent me, I was sentenced to 30 years.

After my conviction, I filed a formal complaint against Mr. Roylston with the Arizona Bar Association. As a result of the investigation, stemming from my complaint and the complaints of others, he was disbarred.

The spokesman for the Bar Association said that Mr. Roylston could not answer a 12-count bar complaint that alleged he accepted retainers but performed little or no work for his clients, and that he failed to diligently pursue his clients' cases. With competent counsel, I would not have received the harsh sentence of 30 years, which unless things change, will make me 75 years old when I get out.