OGDEN — In a bid for leniency — and in one of those moments of drama that can pop up unannounced in a courtroom, the defense argued some drug abuse is guilt-induced.
Attorney Ed Flint argued his client’s personal demons included a fight with her father over her drug use. She told him she wished he were dead.
“He died that night of a heart attack,” he told 2nd District Judge W. Brent West during the judge’s regular criminal calendar day this week, when 50 or more criminal cases are up for hearings.
The plea for leniency came up during sentencing for Kimber McCloy, 35, on charges of possession and drug dealing.
Flint said McCloy only sold methamphetamine to fund her own habit, not for profit.
He acknowledged her numerous arrests, probation violations and failed treatment programs over the past 12 years, but argued McCloy was anxious for one more chance.
Before, Flint told the judge, the 12-step programs tied to most treatment regimens failed to get McCloy’s attention.
But now, with the threat of prison looming, McCloy is finally ready, Flint said.
He suggested LDS Social Services treatment opportunities because McCloy was raised in the church. “Sending her to prison would just warehouse her.”
The prosecution did not contest Flint’s bid for leniency, noting the plea bargain terms included that the office issue no recommendation at sentencing.
“I would ask you to try something different with me,” McCloy said in her brief remarks to the judge.
“If I succeed, it would be worth it. I can’t sink any lower than I am now.”
An unimpressed Adult Probation and Parole agent assigned to the court, Luanne Rodriguez, noted that McCloy was not requesting anything new.
McCloy had never made good on numerous treatment opportunities, Rodriguez said, adding that the woman has a criminal record of drug offenses going back to 2000 and racked up continuous parole violations that have returned her to Utah State Prison five times.
“She needs to make a determination inside herself to change,” Rodriguez said.
In the end, West opted for hard time, noting, “I don’t view the state prison as just a vacant wasteland. There are programs.”
The one-to-15-year sentence would include a recommendation for inclusion in a drug and alcohol treatment program there.
Such treatment efforts come with a waiting list, officials say, and programs are typically made available to those among the prison’s nearly 7,000 inmates who have been granted a release date.