44-year-old Sheridan resident Margery Voiles received two suspended sentences in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday. Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson has the report.
Voiles had plead guilty April 13, 2010 on one count of Felony Child Endangering and one Misdemeanor count of Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine.
At the sentencing, Voiles' attorney, Shelley Cundiff, called two witnesses to testify on her behalf. First was Janelle Fox, a case worker with the Department of Family Services in Sheridan. She told the Court that Voiles' son was taken into protective custody on January 21st, but returned to her care a month later. Fox said she has had no safety concerns throughout working with Voiles, and that Voiles has done all her required counseling and parenting classes. She also said that all her random urinalysis tests have been clean.
The second witness was Pamela Christenson, a licensed professional counselor at Northern Wyoming Mental Health. She told the court that she's been seeing Voiles since the summer of 2009. She said that Voiles had relapsed from many years of being clean when the counselor she'd had prior to Christenson became ill and then passed away. She said that Voiles is now back on monitored psychotropic medicine for a borderline personality disorder – Voiles had suffered extreme physical and sexual abuse by her own parents. Christenson said that Voiles does respond well to structure. She also testified that Voiles should be in therapy for many years to come.
Prosecutor Christopher LaRosa said that while everyone is hopeful for Voiles' recovery, she is still a high-risk person, and that she needs to suffer a consequence that is more than, “Gosh, don't do that again...” for endangering her baby.
Judge Fenn clearly struggled with the best route to take, saying he would like to break the generational cycle started by Voiles' parents. He finally decided to hand down the following:
On Count 1, which is a Felony, she received not less than four and not more than five years in prison, suspended, with five years supervised probation.
On Count 2, which is a Misdemeanor, she received twelve months in jail, consecutive to the first count, suspended, with an additional year of probation.
If Voiles fails any probation requirements, she will face prison time.