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DATE: October 2, 2015
CASE: James Peter O’Brien & Renee Winchell
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tucker, Prison Prosecution Unit
Fifty-one-year-old James Peter O’Brien was sentenced by the Honorable Curtis Fiorini to 6 years in prison, to run consecutive to the time he is currently serving on his murder conviction. On August 19, 2015, a jury convicted O’Brien of possession of methamphetamine in a penal institution and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
On February 23, 2014, O’Brien’s wife, Renee Winchell, was visiting him at Folsom State Prison. An officer observed the two perform a series of actions indicating O’Brien was trying to hide contraband. During an unclothed body search of O’Brien, his boxers and state-issued t-shirt were positioned and modified to allow easy access to his buttocks. He was later found to have possession of a bag of methamphetamine, amounting to approximately 500 doses and worth between $8,000 and $10,000 within the prison. O’Brien was transported to a hospital after showing symptoms of a drug overdose. He tested positive for opiates, amphetamines, and THC.
Methamphetamine was later located in Winchell’s rental vehicle. She pled to felony possession of methamphetamine in a penal institution and was sentenced to 180 days.
O’Brien was previously convicted of murder in 1983.
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