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Father of Haleigh Cummings Working on Plea Deal in Drug Case

3:32 PM, May 17, 2010   |    comments
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PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- The father of Haleigh Cummings is trying to negotiate a deal to get him out of jail sooner rather than later.

Ronald Cummings was arrested in January, along with Misty Croslin, Cummings' ex-wife, and her brother Tommy, for drug trafficking.

Cummings faces five felony charges, all of which carry minimum mandatory sentences.

MORE: The Haleigh Cummings Case 

Today, the state attorney's office confirmed what Cummings' attorney, Terry Shoemaker, said last week.

Shoemaker, after a pre-trial hearing with Cummings Thursday, said they were trying to negotiate a plea deal in exchange for testimony against the other defendants.

On the table in the deal, according to Shoemaker, are the two "upper level" trafficking charges, each of which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years.

By working with the three lesser charges, Shoemaker said he hopes Cummings would end up with a sentence of 15 to 30 years.

Shoemaker described Cummings as a "very realistic person" in explaining why he was willing to deal even though there is heavy evidence against him, including surveillance video of Cummings with drugs.

Shoemaker also clarified that the deal being worked out is in no way tied to the search for Cummings' daughter Haleigh, who has been missing since Feb. 2009 and is now presumed dead, according to Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy.

Failing the deal, Cummings is scheduled to go to trial July 19.

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