Mackay woman gets probation for selling meth

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Judge Alan Stephens sentenced Maichelle B. Brownson of Mackay to four years of supervised probation and granted a withheld judgment on a charge of possessing methamphetamine.

She was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $1,335, and the judge imposed up to 180 days of discretionary jail time in case she violates any terms of probation and needs a wake-up call.

Brownson must apply for entrance into drug court, and if she’s not accepted, must enter another form of substance abuse treatment, Stephens ordered at her February 15 sentencing.

Attorneys

Public Defender Dave Cannon noted Brownson is a first-time offender and made an “error of judgment” by selling or delivering methamphetamine to her boyfriend. She maintained throughout her case that the meth belonged to him, but she accepted a plea agreement whereby she would plead guilty to the charge of meth possession with intent to manufacture or deliver in return for the state’s dismissing another felony meth possession charge and a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Cannon asked the judge for one year of supervised probation for Brownson, along with substance abuse treatment, a modest fine and a withheld judgment.

The court should consider a somewhat troubling background she had growing up, Cannon said.

Probation appears appropriate in Brownson’s case and was recommended in her pre-sentence investigation, Prosecutor Justin Oleson agreed. Brownson’s mother said her daughter is coming back to being the person she was before getting mixed up in drugs.

Brownson

“I stuck my hand on a burner,” Brownson told the court. “I will never do that again. I will change my ways.”

She and her attorney asked for a slight waiver of a common condition of probation: that Brownson not frequent a place where alcohol is served. She works as a waitress at an establishment in Mackay that has a restaurant and separate bar.

Oleson agreed, saying Brownson works days in the restaurant, and the bar is open at night.

“We serve alcohol” where she works, Brownson told the judge, adding, “If that’s a problem with the court, I don’t want to have any part of [working there]. I’m sorry this has all taken place. I can’t do nothing about it now.”

Judge

Delivery of meth is a pretty substantial matter, Stephens said.

“I have a hard time with that,” Brownson said. “I didn’t deliver nothing.”

“You sold some meth to someone,” the judge said.

Brownson sold or delivered meth to her boyfriend, Cannon said, and she has always maintained it belonged to him.

The pre-sentence investigator notes Brownson, age 54, has no prior crimes and recommends probation with substance abuse treatment, Stephens said. She has a moderate risk to re-offend, and a substance abuse evaluation recommends outpatient treatment.

“I believe you’re a person that could be on probation,” the judge said, adding he will also approve a withheld judgment. That’s not always a good thing, because some defendants relax, violate their probation and end up serving time in prison. He ordered four years of probation instead of the one year her attorney had asked for and gave Brownson the option of serving time in prison instead of probation, which is hard for some people.

“How long would you send me to prison?” she asked Stephens.

A lot longer that a few days, the judge replied

“This is a serious charge. I just can’t blink at it,” Stephens told the defendant. If she does well on probation, she can apply for the four years to be shortened.

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