Like many of us, Dennie Bratcher liked to multitask at work. Since Bratcher worked as a shift manager at a Sonic Drive-In
in Cape Girardeau, he lacked access to a computer and Internet connection and so could not, as many of us do, while away the slow parts of his shift by checking news and sports scores. He did, however, have access to lots of cooking equipment.
Business, presumably, was slow at Bratcher's Sonic last December; the restaurant would eventually close on December 31 for financial reasons.
On December 10, police caught him cooking a batch of meth in the restaurant kitchen. He couldn't pass it off as a Sonic Burger; he was surrounded by plastic bottles and tubing necessary for meth manufacture.
This past Tuesday, a Butler County judge sentenced Bratcher, who is 27, to fourteen years in prison for burglary and meth-cooking. However, the judge may suspend the sentence in 120 days if Bratcher successfully completes a drug-treatment program.
"We feel incredibly fortunate that judge Smith gave Mr. Bratcher an
opportunity to address a substantial drug addiction through treatment
in the department of corrections, along with the opportunity to prove
that he will be a law-abiding citizen and not a burden to society," Bratcher's attorney, Ted Liszewski, told
the Southeast Missourian
. "Should he not meet that
obligation, the judge has ensured he will reside in the Department of
Corrections well into middle age."