Marquette man’s meth conviction upheld by state appellate court

MARQUETTE – A Marquette man’s seven- to 20-year sentence on methamphetamine convictions was upheld by the state’s Court of Appeals in a judgment issued Tuesday.

Bryan Chapman Howe was convicted by a jury in August 2012 of one count of operating or maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to operate or maintain a laboratory involving methamphetamine, both 20-year felonies.

According to the written judgment, Howe argued that his convictions should be overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct, evidentiary error, improper admittance of certain evidence including that a defense witness had recently been convicted of the same offense, that he was denied the right to present a defense when the trial court prohibited cross-examination of a witness on an issue of credibility, that the jury should have heard certain instructions that were not allowed and that he had ineffective counsel during his Marquette County Circuit Court trial.

The appellate court ruled against Howe in each of his arguments.

The charges stemmed from a December 2011 incident in Gwinn in which a meth cook at 235 Elm St. exploded, burning Howe over 60 percent of his body.

Howe’s defense during the trial was that he was high on morphine and passed out on a couch for most of the evening and that he woke up and walked into the kitchen just as the meth cook exploded.

Howe was convicted after two days of jury deliberation.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.