“It was kind of a bad decision to make at this time of life,” the judge said.
Nonetheless, prosecutors are showing mercy by recommending a five-year prison sentence because of Sharp’s age and his war service. It’s a significant break: The sentencing guidelines, which aren’t mandatory, call for a minimum of 14 years.
Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg said he will ask for less than five years when Sharp returns to court on Feb. 11. He said his client is “profoundly remorseful.”
“He was roped into something sinister with the promise of financial gain,” Goldberg told The Associated Press. “But one thing led to another and he was threatened at gunpoint to move cocaine across the country.”
The court hearing had some unusual moments. Goldberg repeatedly told Sharp that he wasn’t required to say much beyond what the judge asked him. While explaining he had a clean record, Sharp said his only brush with the law was an incident in Mexico where he was “taking motion pictures of a prostitute.”
“Don’t feel you have to confess to me,” Edmunds said later.
Sharp owes $500,000 as part of the plea deal and has agreed to give up his lily nursery in Apopka, Fla. He’ll be allowed to keep his Indiana home.