A man convicted of rape and drug charges in connection with one of Minnesota's first methamphetamine-related deaths had his sentence reduced Monday, cementing the freedom he has had since winning an appeal in April.

In 2004, Daniel E. Jones received an eight-year sentence from Dakota County Judge Rex Stacey for the raping and providing drugs to Brittany Powell. Powell, 16, of Coon Rapids, died of an overdose in 2000 after using meth at Jones' home in Burnsville.

The jury acquitted Jones of third-degree murder, but Stacey levied a sentence that exceeded state guidelines by two years, saying Jones could have saved the teen if he had taken her to the hospital when she showed signs of an overdose.

Jones' attorney, Anthony Torres, said he appealed the sentence based in part on a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sentences that exceed guidelines must come from a jury. Stacey amended Jones' 2004 sentence Monday morning as a trial to determine a new one was to begin, Torres said.

KATIE HUMPHREY