An Elkins woman was given the maximum sentence after pleading guilty to drug charges in Randolph County Circuit Court.
Mary Elizabeth Herron, 26, pleaded guilty in February to felony possession with intent to deliver a schedule 4 narcotic and to misdemeanour conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.
When asked in February why she was guilty, Herron said she was asked to drop off a Subutex, a controlled substance, by Jeremy Harris, who was incarcerated. She said she left the drugs in the bathroom at the Randolph County Courthouse when Harris was slated to appear in court. She said she knew when the court date was because she was providing testimony.
At her sentencing hearing May 25, her attorney, Phil Isner, said Herron was persuaded to commit the crime by her boyfriend. He said domestic abuse had been a factor in Herron's decision.
In sentencing, Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong said it unfortunately is a commonplace occurrence for people to leave "drugs or a weapon in the bathroom" for prisoners appearing in court. "It's happened repeatedly and it's been discovered repeatedly," she said.
Wilfong said the fact that Herron brought drugs into the courthouse "30 feet from where I sit, shows me you have absolutely no regard for this court." Wilfong sentenced Herron to one year for the misdemeanour conspiracy charge, and one to three years for the felony possession with intent to deliver charge, the maximum jail sentence.
Also in court on May 25, Ricky Leroy Pritt, 45, of Valley Head, was sentenced after entering a guilty plea to two counts of obstructing an officer, both misdemeanours.
Special prosecutor William "Mont" Miller told Wilfong the state would not oppose alternative sentencing.
Attorney Richard W. Shryock, representing Pritt, said in a previous hearing that Deputy M. Dyer and Cpl. B. Pawelczyk of the Sheriff's Department had gone to Pritt's residence to serve a protective order. When they asked him to come outside, the deputies saw that Pritt was wearing "a handgun in a holster on his back," Shryock said.
When the deputies attempted to disarm Pritt, he resisted, but he "never actually removed the gun from the holster," Shryock said, adding that Pritt had a permit for the weapon. Pritt had no previous criminal record, Shryock said.
At the May 25 sentencing hearing, Shryock asked for a sentence of probation, saying that Dyer and Pawelczyk "exercised great restraint" and that Pritt was embarrassed about his behavior during the incident.
Wilfong sentenced Pritt to a year on each of the two counts, to run consecutive for an effective sentence of two years. Wilfong then suspended the sentence and ordered Pritt to serve three years of supervised probation.