Jail time reduced in drug case

New Windsor woman sold patch that led to overdose

January 22, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

A New Windsor woman who pleaded guilty to manslaughter after selling her 27-year-old nephew a fatal patch of pain medication sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect will be released in May, six months earlier than if she completed the sentence imposed last year.

Carroll County Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. deemed Regina Raye Kesselring, 48, well enough to remain in jail for four more months.

"This is a tough call for me," said Burns, who will retire Friday after 25 years on the bench. He said he understood why prosecutors would want her to serve the rest of her sentence but could also sympathize with family members who want her out of jail.

Kesselring's attorney, Michele M. Shimek, said her client had "medical and intellectual limitations" that prevented her from exercising good judgment on a night when she was heavily medicated. She did not intend to kill her nephew, Shimek said, and has been remorseful ever since.

David P. Daggett, the county's senior assistant state's attorney, said Kesselring had sold pain patches to Steven E. Spivey twice before to supplement her income.

Kesselring lived on disability payments of $545 a month, according to charging documents.

Daggett also asked that the court remember that Spivey's death left two young children without a father.

After the judge announced his decision, Kesselring turned around and smiled at her mother and sister, who were in court awaiting the decision.

Burns reduced her sentence from 18 months in the Carroll County Detention Center to 12 months and changed her three years of probation from supervised to unsupervised.

Kesselring of the 300 block of Main St. was arrested in July 2002 on manslaughter and drug charges in the Feb. 4 death of Spivey, her sister's son.

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