A Roanoke woman given probation on misdemeanor charges for petit larceny and interfering with property rights lost her chances to remain free and now heads for prison for a total of two years and 40 days after Circuit Judge Marc Long revoked all of the suspended sentences.
“You’re not telling the truth,” the judge told Laurie Ann Fowler. “You had your chance to stay out of jail but you destroyed those chances.”
Long followed the recommendation of Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom, who told the court Fowler “came to Floyd and committed crimes” and did not deserve any more chances.
Defense attorney David Rhodes argued that Fowler has a daughter who needs her but Long dismissed that suggestion, saying, “I don’t want an addict taking care of a little girl.”
Fowler admitted taking drugs while on probation but said she did not feel like she needed medical treatment for her addiction, arguing she could beat the drugs.
After pleading guilty on Feb. 12 to misdemeanor charges of interfering with property rights, petit larceny and fifth offense driving on a suspended license, Fowler missed a date for review and her bond was revoked.
She tested positive for drugs and a probation was also charted.
“You did not follow through,” Branscom said in his closing arguments Thursday. “She was simply not doing what she was supposed to do.”
“You did whatever you wanted to do,” Judge Long told Fowler.
In another hearing Tuesday, Long decided not to grant bond for James Brian Vest of Copper Hill, saying he wants the defendant held on potential admission to the Alcohol Safety Action Program or Drug Court.
Vest is facing a probation violation for multiple positive drug tests after his conviction for possession of schedule II drugs on Sept. 25, 2018. He was given a five-year suspended sentence.
Defense attorney Rhodes asked Long to grant bail after his mother testified on his behalf, calling him a hard worker who had lost his 16-year-old daughter to drug abuse. His employer also asked for bail, saying Vest serves as second-in-command on their timber frame construction team and has been a wood worker since 2013.
Rhodes also asked for admittance to the county’s drug court program, which gives first-time offenders a second chance.
Branscom told the judge that Vest could be placed on the waiting list for drug court but said others are currently ahead of him.
“He’s had a drug problem for a while,” Judge Long said, adding that Vest has tested positive for drugs twice since his conviction. “There’s a problem.”
“I realize I’ve made a major mistake,” Vest told the court from the witness stand.
Long said he wants to help Vest but said getting out of jail without drug court or another program ready to admit him may not the “best environment” at this point.
“Meth is the most addictive drug there is,” the judge said. “You will never get off it without help.”
The ordered Vest to remain in jail while he court attempts to get him into the ASAP, New Life or Drug Court.
“I want to help,” he said to Vest. “Good luck to you.”
In other matters before the court Tuesday:
-Judge Long scheduled Aug. 27 for motions and to set a trial date for Kyle Joseph Marchon on new gun and drug indictments handed down by a county grand jury in July. Marchon already faces a two-day jury trial on Sept. 23 with a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend in December of last year;
-The judge accepted a recommendation not to prosecute a possession charge against Patrick Dane Richards because the indictment was issued when he was a juvenile.