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Irvin Dana Beal, a well known figure from Madison's counterculture past who was set free from jail after suffering a major heart attack on Sept. 27, is scheduled to be resentenced on Dec. 29, says Iowa County District Attorney Larry Nelson.

Beal was jailed early this year after the 1997 Chevrolet Astro van he was a passenger in was stopped in Barneveld on Jan. 6 with 180 pounds of medical marijuana in it.

On Sept. 20, the 64-year-old Beal -- who goes by his middle name, Dana -- was sentenced in an Iowa County courtroom to a five-year prison term. Half of that time was to be served behind bars and the remainder under extended supervision. But one week later, as Beal was being taken out of the Iowa County jail to be sent to prison in Waupun, he suffered the heart attack and nearly died.

According to information provided by the Iowa County District Attorney's Office, Beal's sentence was vacated due to these health issues and he was released on bond.

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Beal told the Cap Times he was let go because Iowa County officials didn't want to pay for escalating medical costs or for a deputy to be stationed outside his St. Mary's Hospital room 24 hours a day. Sources familiar with the case backed Beal's claims.

But Nelson denies a report from earlier this month in the Cap Times that indicated the Iowa County DA's office had no immediate plans to resentence Beal. Nelson says the plan all along was to have Beal resentenced as soon as his health allowed.

Beal started coming to Madison more than four decades ago as a leader of the Yippies -- the Youth International Party -- which is a younger spin-off of the anti-war movement of the 1960s.

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