Heroin addict to get treatment before possible prison term

Judge delays sentencing for woman who pleaded guilty in 7 theft cases

August 17, 1999|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 19-year-old heroin addict and petty thief will have a chance to get clean before serving a possible prison term after pleading guilty to burglary and theft, a Carroll County judge decided yesterday.

Sarah Bowen thanked Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. after he agreed to "help you help yourself" by postponing her sentencing and sending her to a 90-day drug-treatment program at the request of Judson K. Larrimore, senior public defender.

"I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this," Bowen said.

"I know I need help," she said. "I do need help."

"I hope it helps," Beck told her, "because you're a young person, and I think you're salvageable."

Assistant State's Attorney Clarence W. Beall III asked that Bowen's sentencing be scheduled soon after the 90 days is up, so "the treatment program doesn't go on indefinitely." Under the plea agreement, Bowen is to serve no more than four years of a 15-year sentence, with the balance suspended.

Bowen, who had several Westminster-area addresses before being jailed about five months ago, pleaded guilty in seven cases from late 1998 into 1999, the prosecutor said. The cases included burglary, shoplifting and other thefts -- lesser, non-violent crimes, but numerous for someone just entering the adult criminal justice system.

Beck said he would try to have Bowen placed at the state's Patuxent Institution, which has programs for younger inmates.

"Thank you, your honor," she said again, before being led off in handcuffs. The judge replied, "You can thank me best by successfully completing the program."

Pub Date: 8/17/99

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