Drug defendant sentenced to probation

A judge Tuesday sentenced a Craig woman arrested in a November drug raid to one year of probation on marijuana charges.

Leslie Dawn Knight, 51, of Craig, pleaded guilty to marijuana charges in April in exchange for prosecutors dropping methamphetamine charges against her.

On Tuesday Knight appeared in 14th Judicial District Court for sentencing.

Agents from the Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested Knight in November, along with three other people.

At the time of the arrest, officers said they found 1.25 grams of meth inside the home on Third Street where they arrested Knight.

Knight's lawyer, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, asked Chief Judge Michael O'Hara to sentence Knight to unsupervised probation rather than supervised probation.

"I don't see her as a risk to re-offend," Uhlmann said.

Uhlmann said Knight's age and the fact that she had no prior convictions meant supervised probation was an excessive punishment.

Knight lost her job because of her arrest in November and would have trouble paying for supervised probation, Uhlmann said.

"The monetary issue is going to be extremely difficult for Ms. Knight," Uhlmann said.

O'Hara said he understood Uhlmann's concerns about Knight's finances and agreed to waive a $600 probation supervision fee.

Knight will still have to pay about $900 in court costs, O'Hara said.

Despite Uhlmann's request, O'Hara sentenced Knight to supervised probation, saying he hoped checking in with a probation officer would keep her from violating probation.

"I think it might be helpful to know that someone is looking over your shoulder," O'Hara said.

One of the people arrested with Knight in November, Jay Christopher Vatalaro, 26, of Craig, pleaded guilty to meth possession last month and was sentenced to probation.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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