Two women sentenced

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Marshall County women were sentenced in Circuit Court last week.

Kacy Renee Cantrell, 25, of Cornersville pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine and to the promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. Judge Robert Crigler sentenced her to nine years for the first offense and three years for the second, to be served concurrently. Cantrell was ordered to spend eight months in prison, with the balance of her sentence to be served on probation. She was fined $2,000 on each charge and ordered to pay court costs. Her attorney was Hershell Koger of Pulaski.

Cantrell was also specifically ordered to have no contact with her co-defendant, Ellis Randall Darnell Jr., 34, of Spring Place Road, whose case is set for a jury trial on Dec. 3.

When the indictments were issued by the grand jury, Jason Dwayne Morgan, 22, of Yell Road, was named as a co-defendant with Cantrell and Darnell. However, Darnell's attorney, Melissa Thomas of Fayetteville, successfully petitioned to have Morgan's case separated from that of her client. The petition states that Morgan gave an incriminating statement to law enforcement, while Cantrell, Darnell, and the fourth person arrested at the same traffic stop, Christopher Beard, 31, of Glenn Avenue, remained silent.

Bobbie Kaye Lopez, 37, of Belfast, was indicted on six counts of prescription fraud and two counts of TennCare fraud ("Doctor Shopping"). She admitted to taking a prescription pad from AJ Medical, and forging prescriptions for potent painkillers, which she filled at local pharmacies. As to the TennCare fraud, records show that Lopez visited both AJ Medical, Lewisburg, and the Pain Treatment Center, Franklin, in a 30-day period, "seeking like or same medications."

Lopez and her attorney, General Sessions Court judge Steve Bowden, entered an open plea of guilty to the indictments, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-313.

Crigler placed Lopez on probation for a total of eight years, with some specific conditions. She is to complete her on-line studies with Kaplan University and obtain her degree in psychology, and pay off her court costs at $100 per month. She is also ordered to attend mental health counseling; and submit to Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous assessment and follow their recommendations, treatment, and counseling.

For her pre-sentencing report, Lopez told probation officer Chris Hill that she has been attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings three to four times weekly and has been clean since March 27, 2009. She also attends Life Recovery at church every week.

Lopez told Hill, "I've had to take pain meds since I was 15. Back problems. Over the years the meds have gotten stronger and doses higher. I finally ended up dependent on these meds. I was self-medicating. Taking a lot more than was prescribed. I only know what other people have told me about my offense. I was having black outs. I don't remember part of November 2008 and none of December 2008."

Lopez has been on disability since 2001. Her back problems are described as "degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and four ruptured discs."

Because of the type of plea she entered, if Lopez successfully completes her probation, she can apply have her criminal record expunged.