Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LXXIV): Woman sentenced to 10 years on drug charges

The Dec. 1, 2010 issue of the Newton County Times reports that 31-year-old Tracy Waits has been sentenced to 10 years following guilty pleas to six charges of possessing drug paraphernalia. A recommendation was made that she serve that time in "a boot camp program." She was also sentenced to 20 years' probation.

Waits, the daughter of David Middleton, has not pleaded guilty to charges she conspired to kidnap the son of the Newton County Sheriff or to assist in a plan for her father to escape from custody. Details of those other charges are here. Indeed, while the story is not entirely clear, it appears that Waits agreed to testify against her uncle, Ricky Middleton--also part of the alleged conspiracy--in exchange for conspiracy charges not being prosecuted against Waits. Waits was ordered to pay $11,130 for the time she was held in the Boone County Jail, since Jan. 14, awaiting trial. While her plea stipulated that she not associate with convicted felons, an exception allows her to spend time with some family members who fall into that category.

Waits requested a bond so that she could be released from custody long enough to secure child care for her children while she was incarcerated. The judge set a $10,000 bond for that purpose.

In other news:
  • Jasper Police Officer Cody Middleton successfully completed a 13-week Basic Police Training course at Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Academy in Pocahontas, Arkansas.
  • The 20th Annual Newton County Christmas Parade was set for Dec. 2.
  • A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found Newton County the fifth healthiest of 75 Arkansas counties. Among the factors considered were physical environment (environmental quality and built environment), social and economic factors (community safety, income, family and social support), clinical care (access to care and quality of care), and health behaviors (tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol use, unsafe sex). The full report is available here.

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