Sentence upheld for woman amid tooth cream drug defense

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Kokomo Tribune on 03/16/2018 by Scott L. Miley

INDIANAPOLIS — A Madison County woman who claimed that some of the illegal drugs found in her system were from an uncle’s tooth cream had her probation violation upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Ashlee K. Pierce, 34, of Alexandria had appealed her two-year sentence for probation violation from Madison Circuit Court.

The case goes back to a 2009 theft case in which she received a two-year sentence that was suspended to probation. In 2013, she was charged with probation violation but given a second chance and ordered back on probation.

In July 2017, a probation officer obtained a urine sample from Pierce and it showed positive results for drugs. She said she had a prescription for methadone for an opiate addiction and Vyvanse for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A subsequent test showed methadone, amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine and fentanyl were in her system.

She was charged with probation violation in part for failing to abstain from the use of illegal drugs.

During her July 31, 2017, court hearing, she said she had a prescription for methadone for her opiate addiction and should have tested for amphetamine because of the Vyvanse. She denied using the other drugs but said the methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine and fentanyl could have been in a tooth cream used by her uncle.

It might have been in her system because of her being in his house, she claimed.

However, the Madison Circuit Judge Thomas Newman found her in violation of probation and ordered her to serve the two-year sentence.

The appellate court said it would not reweigh her claims.

The state appellate court found that due process was followed by Newman. Pierce is set to be released from prison in July.