CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Belle woman was sentenced to five to 18 years in prison for robbing a local bank last fall.
Jennifer Lee Garretson, 37, walked into the City National Bank on Oct. 12 and passed a note to a teller that said she had a gun. She demanded cash, which police later found at her home.
Despite an impassioned plea from her defense attorney and family for a different punishment, Kanawha Circuit Judge Jim Stucky sent Garretson to prison for the crime.
She pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in April.
Garretson's attorney, public defender Zoe Shavers, and two family members said her troubles were connected to drug addiction. Shavers asked Kanawha Circuit Judge Jim Stucky to impose home confinement or probation, with drug treatment.
"Jennifer was on top of the world," said her mother, Laurie Roberts. "She was a wonderful mother. Then she was on medication and it all just spiraled."
She said Garretson moved from prescription pain pills taken for a back injury to other substances. She was never successful at rehabilitation, despite several attempts.
Shavers brought in a sentencing advocate who works for the Kanawha Public Defenders Office to testify about addiction.