In 4th Judicial District Court Friday morning, 28-year-old mother of two, Cassidy Quarterman, was sentenced on a Felony Forgery charge.
Per a plea agreement with the State, Quarterman had plead "Guilty" initially to nineteen counts of forgery for writing over $8,500-worth of checks over a two-year period using her grandmother's account and forging her grandmother's name. She used the money to purchase prescription drugs to feed a substance addiction. Sentencing had been deferred so Quarterman could enter inpatient treatment, in which she has been doing very well, according to her attorney, Hardy Tate.
Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett told Judge Fenn that Quarterman's grandmother had requested that restitution be handled within the family and that all but one of the charges be dropped. Judge Fenn responded by saying that once a party uses the Court to use "tough love," to get a relative out of a life of addiction, family members lose any control and can't call the shots.
Bennett agreed, saying that her staff and law enforcement spent many months working on the case. Nonetheless, Bennett did say she recommended that Counts 2 through 19 be dropped in lieu of deferred prosecution on Count 1.
It was also stated that Quarterman is being treated with more leniency because the crime involves family; if the crime had not been done within the family, her sentence would be much more severe.
Regarding the restitution issue, Tate told the Court that an agreement had been worked out between Quarterman and her grandmother, who was present in the courtroom. Some land Mrs. Quarterman had deeded to Cassidy was going to be deeded back to her, Tate said, which would more than cover the $8,500.
Quarterman spoke to Judge Fenn, and said "I'm really grateful I was kept in jail before going to the Gathering Place, because I couldn't stop using on my own. I have learned a lot about myself and my addiction since being in treatment. I want a chance to live my life for my children." Then Quarterman broke down and tearfully told the judge, "I've hurt my family terribly."
Judge Fenn then told Quarterman, "I want you to understand how big of a break you're getting. I've dismissed Counts 2 through 19, and on Count 1, I'm placing you on 1 to 5 years supervised probation pursuant to Deferred Prosecution. But understand, if you fail any part of the terms of probation, your will face 9 to 10 years in prison. Is that understood?" Quarterman replied, "Yes, sir."
Part of the Plea Agreement Terms include strict instructions not to be on any form of prescribed narcotics. She is also to apply for Drug Court, and if accepted, she is to go through that program.