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Powell, Read Sentenced in Circuit Court

By Staff | Jul 29, 2015

Co-defendants Brittany Jo Powell, 30, of 125 Central St., New Martinsville, and Jennifer Nicole Read, 29, of 100 North Seventh Ave., Paden City, were each sentenced to prison Monday, July 20 by Judge David W. Hummel in Wetzel County Circuit Court.

Powell pleaded guilty on July 10 to conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance Buprenorphine (Subutex/Suboxin), while her co-defendant, Read, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to deliver.

Powell and Read were each indicted by the May 2015 grand jury. Read was indicted twice, the charges being possession of a controlled narcotic substance (heroin) with intent to deliver. Powell was charged with both conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance (buprenorphine) and delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (buprenorphine).

At the Monday sentencing hearing, Read said there was no excuse for her actions. She said she was in a car accident in 2008 and had been on drugs since then.

“How many times did you reach out for help?” Judge Hummel asked Read.

Read replied she tried to get into the Anthony Center at one point.

Read’s attorney, Brett Ferro, argued in favor of his client being admitted to an alternative rehab program, referencing several traumatic situations Read had went through, including the car accident.

Brent Clyburn, Powell’s attorney, argued that his client had never had the opportunity for drug court. He further argued his client had never put off taking responsibility for her actions. Clyburn further reiterated that at the last hearing, Judge Hummel had ordered Powell to be incarcerated, as she was 11 weeks pregnant at the time.

“The court might have saved that baby,” Clyburn remarked.

Clyburn said his client was evaluated for drug court and was accepted in the program.

“Your honor, the state reserved the right for sentencing (for Powell) and would not oppose drug court. The state would like to see every individual receive treatment.”

The court was informed that Read, who was also evaluated for rehabilitation, was also accepted into a court treatment program.

Judge Hummel explained that he was using the “gut” assessment on both Powell and Read, stating he felt both would “wash out fairly quickly.”

“They don’t have what it takes,” he explained. “Overlay their histories, and they are both near identical,” he added, further stating Read was given services as a juvenile.

With that said, Hummel sentenced Read to one to 15 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women.

To Powell, Hummel stated he was sentencing her “to save your baby’s life.”

“I would not sleep well tonight, if (Powell) went home, shot up, and it affected the baby,” he said.

Powell was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women.