Jeffery Manary, when arrested Aug. 4, 2011
Jeffery Manary was sentenced Monday to 4-12 years in the state penitentiary for his role in the death of Esther M. Smith of North Platte a year ago.
Manary was convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of amphetamine (oxycotin).
Smith died Aug. 3, when emergency personnel were called to Elizabeth Crawford’s home where her sister, Esther Smith, collapsed after overdosing on meth. Smith was 45.
Crawford was arrested at the scene, and the next day, Manary was also arrested and charged with homicide.
Before handing down the sentence, Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands cited Manary’s prior record of marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, shoplifting, distribution of meth in 1999 and several counts of failure to appear. Rowlands sentenced Manary to 2-6 years on the meth charge and another 2-6 on the oxycotin charge. The sentences will be served consecutively, so the minimum sentence is four years and the maximum 12 years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary.
Manary has been in jail since Smith died. Rowlands gave him credit for 360 days already served.
Defense attorney Pat Hays told the court that charges should be dismissed. He said Manary was not present when the victim died and the manslaughter charge against co-defendant Crawford was reduced to attempted abuse of a vulnerable adult. Crawford was sentenced to 18 months probation.
County Attorney Rebecca Harling insisted the charges against Manary should stand. She said Crawford was cooperative throughout the case and supplied information that led to the amended charges for both defendants.
Harling said Manary supplied the drugs and Smith “passed away” from their use.
Hays argued that Crawford had provided embellished information that turned the case in her own favor and against Manary.
Smith had a long history of drug addiction and mental health issues, Harling said during previous court proceedings.
Previously, Harling said the night Smith died, Crawford helped her inject meth and then left her unattended in a room for about an hour. She came back in to find Smith unresponsive.