by Max Brantley
Devinn Deshawn Sheppard was convicted of drug trafficking and given a 42-year sentence, despite a defense challenge to the drug evidence, including powder cocaine, because it was no longer available for independent testing. Reed, in charge of the State Police evidence room, said he did not know what had happened to it, but was sure it had not been intentionally misplaced or destroyed. An FBI agent was present for Sheppard's testimony, one day before federal marshals arrested him and one day before he was fired by State Police, which had gathered surveillance video of him allegedly tampering with drug evidence. (You'd think the FBI might wink-and-nudge local prosecutors about such a witness.)
Sheppard got a 42-year sentence. Hard to imagine his attorney won't be raising questions about his conviction now that it's known it was built in part on the testimony of a soon-to-be-arrested accused drug dealer presented as a credible state trooper.