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Informer improperly sentenced, Hillsborough prosecutors say

TAMPA — The man who wore a wire for detectives investigating the disappearance of Sabrina Aisenberg was improperly sentenced, the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office has said in a court filing.

Prosecutors agreed with Dennis Byron's attorney that the informer's prison term should be reduced.

Byron, 33, wore a wire for 34 days while sharing a jail cell earlier this year with Scott D. Overbeck, who Byron said made claims about disposing of the 5-month-old baby's body after she disappeared in November 1997.

At the time, Byron was serving a three-year minimum mandatory sentence on a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. After his help with Overbeck, prosecutors agreed to a reduced sentence of 24 months of house arrest. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne Timmerman granted the new sentence on Jan. 28.

But Byron quickly violated the terms of his release and was re-arrested.

At a subsequent court hearing on Feb. 25, prosecutors said detectives had cut ties with their informer. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Daniel Perry sentenced Byron to more than five years in prison.

His attorney, John Trevena, argued in a motion filed last month that his client received illegal sentences from both judges. Too much time had passed from his original sentencing date, said Trevena, who asked that Byron's initial three-year prison sentence be reinstated.

In a motion filed Aug. 1, Assistant State Attorney Michael Sinacore said Trevena's motion should be granted.

"The response speaks for itself," Trevena said Tuesday. "Anyone who had doubts before should read this response."

It's now up to Timmerman to decide whether to grant the reduced sentence.

Times staff writers Sue Carlton and William Levesque contributed to this report. Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Informer improperly sentenced, Hillsborough prosecutors say 08/05/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:51am]
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