U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Ames man’s appeal

The drug death case involving an Ames man will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Des Moines Register reports that Marcus Burrage was given 20 years in prison for selling heroin in April 2010 to a Nevada man who later died.

Burrage’s attorney, Angela Campbell, says in the appeal that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury about what was necessary to prove Burrage guilty of causing the death of Joshua Banka. A state medical examiner says Banka died of a mixed drug intoxication that included heroin.

The appeal documents say the judge should have told Burrage’s jury that in order for Burrage to be found guilty, prosecutors had to prove that the heroin was the sole cause of Banka’s death, not just a contributing cause.