CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Kanawha judge has sentenced a woman who passed out from a heroin overdose with her child in the back seat of her car to home confinement.
In December, a Kanawha County jury found Susan Adkins of Charleston guilty of child neglect creating a substantial risk of bodily injury or death.
Prosecutors say Adkins pulled off the road July 9 on McQueen Street on Charleston's West Side. There, she worked up drugs in a broken Dr. Pepper can and injected them. Then she passed out with her 2-year-old son in the backseat.
She faced one to five years in prison, but Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom instead gave her one to five years of home confinement.
She'll also have to complete her current drug treatment program and spend 15 weekends in South Central Regional Jail.
Bloom denied the defense's motions for acquittal and a new trial. Adkins' attorney, Richard Holicker, argued there were shortcomings in the case and said there wasn't enough evidence to convict her on the child neglect charge.
Holicker pointed out that even though it was a hot day, the car was on. He also argued the street where the car was parked was in a dangerous neighborhood.
And like he argued before trial, Holicker took issue with Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach, saying the case should be dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct.
He accused Giggenbach of putting on false information before a grand jury when he said the car wasn't running and the window was up. Based on that, he believed Adkins was indicted on false facts.
Giggenbach said he was tired of the personal attacks. He argued he went off the evidence in the police report and later told the defense when he found out the car was running.
"He's attacking me personally when the facts don't help him ... I'm tired of it," Giggenbach said.
Bloom warned both parties to keep personal attacks out of the picture. He told attorneys the next person who used a personal attack would be held in contempt.
Bloom said based on the law, the fact of whether the car was running was not important.
"There is absolutely no question in my mind that the state has met its burden of proof that the child was put at substantial risk of bodily harm," Bloom said.
Holicker also called a few witnesses on behalf of Adkins. One, Samantha Nooney, testified that Adkins was doing well in her treatment.
Nooney, Adkins' recovery coach, said of all the clients she has had, Adkins showed the most progress and has been clean since she entered the program.
A very emotional Adkins told the court she is a recovering addict. She said that, through her recovery, she is learning how to deal with her problems instead of going back to drugs.
"I did a horrible thing," Adkins said, wiping away tears. "With my addiction, I made choices I wouldn't have made in the past or wouldn't now. I am an addict but I'm a recovering addict."