Judge says ‘no’ to jail time in felony drug case
November 29, 1999
Craig resident Dawn Malley, 34, did not receive the 90-day jail sentence recommended by the probation department at her sentencing hearing Monday.
Malley pleaded guilty in September to a felony charge of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deceit. She accepted a plea bargain and was given a deferred sentence, which means if she follows conditions of her probation, charges against her will be dropped after two years.
Malley attended a formal sentencing hearing Monday where the main issue was whether 14th Judicial Court Judge Joel Thompson would sentence Malley to the 90 days of jail time recommended by the probation department. Deputy District Attorney David Waite said 90 days seemed inappropriate to him and recommended Malley serve 10 days.
Thompson handed down probation with no jail time.
Conditions of Malley’s probation include no excessive use of alcohol, 100 hours of community service, a $500 charitable donation to Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and $2,315 in fines. Malley will also have to notify a probation officer of all the doctors she consults or if she changes doctors. She agreed to sign a release giving probation officials the authority to discuss her treatment with doctors.
Malley was charged June 2 with illegally obtaining the pain-relieving drug Percocet from two Craig doctors. Investigations determined Malley was receiving prescriptions for the drug every five to 10 days at two pharmacies.
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Malley said she wasn’t getting the drug to get “high or feel some euphoria,” but rather to relieve chronic neck and back pain she has suffered since a work-related accident caused nerve problems in her spine.
“I was not in any way seeking drugs just to get drugs,” she said. “I’m not a drug-seeking person. I was doing it to get help for my back.”
Dr. Pamela Kinder testified Malley’s was not a case of drug addiction, but a case of increased tolerance. Medications prescribed to Malley had stopped curbing her pain, Kinder said.
“It appears Dawn didn’t know where to turn,” Malley’s attorney Kristopher Hammond said. “She was in pain every day.”
Thompson said he was concerned about a statement Malley made saying she didn’t believe she was guilty for the crime. Thompson said testimony Monday showed him Malley had accepted responsibility.
Malley promised Thompson if he gave her the chance to prove she was not the person described by the charges, she would never again appear in his courtroom for similar charges.
“I just need you to let me prove to you that I’m not the person on that paper,” she said.