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Judge orders prison for mom who exposed kids to drugs

AMERICAN FORK — A pass judgement on balked Monday at suggestions from state companies that an Elk Ridge mom who allowed her kids to be exposed to drugs be sentenced to probation so as to permit her to paintings towards reuniting her circle of relatives.

Fourth District Judge Roger Griffin stated the probation advice from Adult Probation and Parole used to be “appalling” and “not worth the paper it was written on.”

“Good people don’t allow, either directly or indirectly, for drugs to be administered to their own child,” the pass judgement on stated.

He additionally voiced skepticism in regards to the fortify being presented by means of Lacey Dawn Christenson’s circle of relatives, speculating that as a result of they’d it appears grew to become a blind eye as the mummy of 4 used drugs round her kids, they wouldn’t save you the youngsters from being abused once more.

Christenson, 26, used to be accused of the use of drugs all through her being pregnant and permitting her common-law husband to administer drugs to their new child child within the health center in an strive to conceal the child’s dependancy. In addition to the newborn, two of Christenson’s sons, ages 2 and four on the time, additionally examined certain for drugs.

She pleaded guilty closing month to distribution of a managed substance and kid abuse.

Shackled and dressed in a red prison uniform, her lengthy brown hair curled on the ends, Christenson wept Tuesday as she pledged to stay sober and pleaded with the pass judgement on for an opportunity to paintings with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services to be reunited her kids.

“I am begging you, please allow me to use the wonderful tools DCFS is offering,” Christenson stated thru tears. “I so badly want to have my babies back in my arms. They need me and I need them.”

A DCFS caseworker showed to the pass judgement on that, after talking with Christenson in prison, the company is prepared to paintings along with her.

“I can’t predict the future, but I know that drug court works. Family drug court works. People have been able to get through these things and turn their lives around,” the caseworker stated.

Christenson advised the pass judgement on she started the use of opioids to numb ache, each bodily and emotional, to the purpose that drugs changed into “necessary for survival.” When the daddy of her new child child rubbed drugs onto the child’s gums, she started to notice she could not break out her dependancy on her personal, however used to be too afraid to flip for assist.

“I was so ashamed of my own actions, I wanted to be a perfect family like I once had,” she cried. “I wish I had asked for help sooner.”

But prosecutor Julia Thomas argued that, although Christenson has no prior convictions, there may be transparent proof the lady selected drugs over her circle of relatives for years.

“These children had drugs in their system, she’s lucky they survived it,” Thomas stated. “This isn’t her first offense, this is the first time she got caught.”

Thomas requested Griffin to ruin with the sentencing advice and order Christenson to serve consecutive prison phrases, the similar as her common-law husband won for his function within the case.

Christenson used to be charged along 29-year-old Colby Glen Wilde, who pleaded guilty in a maintain prosecutors in August and used to be sentenced to prison closing month.

Police say the oldsters feared that the newborn lady born to them April nine used to be born with an opiate dependence. In order to conceal indicators of withdrawal, Wilde blended beaten suboxone drugs with water and carried out it to the newborn’s gums, in accordance to charging paperwork.

The fees allege that whilst Christenson “pointed the finger at Wilde” for having given the newborn the drug, “she knew what he was doing, why he was doing it and did nothing to stop him.”

A monthlong investigation into the couple started June 26 after Wilde tried to thieve pieces from a Walmart and go back them for money, all whilst wearing the child lady in a automotive seat. Christenson used to be within the retailer with the opposite 3 kids on the time, prosecutors stated.

As he requested the pass judgement on for prison time within the case, Stetson Steele, Christenson’s ex-husband and the daddy of her oldest son, described the have an effect on her drug use has had at the boy.

According to Steele, the boy advised him that at simply nine years outdated, he have been accountable for being concerned for his more youthful siblings when Christenson and Wilde disappeared at evening and slept throughout the day. The boy frequently neglected faculty, his father stated, and when he visited on weekends appeared repeatedly drained and nervous.

“Imagine being 9 years old and feeling like you have sole responsibility for your siblings,” Steele stated.

Following Christenson’s arrest, Steele and his spouse temporarily took custody of the lady’s 3 youngest kids in order that they might stay with their brother.

During that point, Steele advised the pass judgement on he noticed results of overlook and trauma within the kids, describing them as bad, scared of being deserted and in determined want of affection and a focus. The toddler, he stated, ate like she used to be ravenous and appeared to be in consistent ache.

“She failed to do the one thing mothers are hard wired to do, and that is protect her children,” Steele stated. “The things that these children have told us they have been through are just unimaginable.”

Christenson pleaded accountable in October to 4 fees between two legal circumstances filed towards her. Griffin ordered Tuesday that prison sentences for the fees inside each and every case run similtaneously, however that point for the 2 circumstances will likely be served again to again.

She will obtain credit score for the 134 days she has served to this point.

Christenson used to be sentenced within the first case to concurrent phrases of a minimum of one and up to 15 years for distribution of a managed substance, a second-degree prison, and 0 to 5 years for kid abuse, a third-degree prison.

In the second one case, Christenson will serve concurrent sentences of 0 to 5 years for reckless endangerment of a kid, a third-degree prison, and 6 months for ownership of a managed substance, a category B misdemeanor.

The moment case stemmed from an investigation into the circle of relatives after the Walmart arrest.

Additional fees have been disregarded as a part of Christenson’s plea deal, together with two further counts of kid abuse, one rely of kid endangerment, two counts of drug ownership and two counts of ownership of drug paraphernalia.

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