Woman gets 18 months for failed drug test
December 4, 2007
ASPEN A district judge Monday sentenced a Snowmass woman to 18 months in prison after she failed a drug test.Martha Byrum, 44, had been enrolled in a female community corrections program in Colorado Springs, but was arrested after testing positive for drugs in a urine analysis.Byrum made news in January 2006 after she was arrested for trying to elude police when she broke into former Police Chief Loren Ryersons house. There, police found her with four grams of cocaine. That, combined with a second-degree trespassing and a probation violation, led to her sentence in the community corrections program in Colorado Springs. Byrum appeared to be remorseful at Mondays hearing in Pitkin County District Court in Aspen. Im sorry Im here again, said Byrum, crying, before the sentencing. I was successful in many ways and I will keep trying. Im accountable for being here.Judge Thomas Ossola warned Byrum that she faces a lifetime of being institutionalized if she doesnt get clean and sober. A lot of people see a lot of potential in you that seems to be blocked by your addiction, said Ossola. Someone with your potential ought not to be doing this in your mid-40s.In other court news: An Alabama man who wrote a series of bad checks to Aspen businesses pleaded guilty to a felony theft and misdemeanor theft.Matthew Junkins, 24, wrote bad checks for $3,000 worth of food, alcohol and sporting goods at Cooper Street Pier, Durrance Sports, Jimmys An American Bar & Restaurant, and the Ute Mountaineer, among other businesses. Prosecutor Gail Nichols said Junkins never deposited money into the account he opened, before writing checks against it last month.Garth McCarty, Junkins attorney, argued that Junkins should be released from jail on a personal recognizance bond during the holidays in order to get a job. Ossola denied the request.The first thing is to get a job and a place to live, Ossola said. A sentencing was set for Jan. 14. A transient man charged with trying to sell liquid acid, though it later turned out to be hair oil, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drugs Monday.Russell Surgeon, 22, was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation. A charge of possession with the intent to sell an imitation substance was dropped as part of the plea deal.There were no drugs involved, Nichols said.After a man in downtown Aspen called police to say Surgeon tried to sell him acid, Surgeon allegedly went back and forth about whether he thought a vial he had contained liquid acid. When police tested the substance, they found it apparently contained hair oil, with no trace of illegal drugs. A Snowmass man who crashed his car in August pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine Monday.Michael Jenrette, 23, was sentenced to a one-year deferred sentence as part of the plea deal. A charge of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell was dropped. Police say Jenrette was driving under the influence and had drug paraphernalia in the car on the night in question. Jenrette was out on bond in the fall following the car crash when he was again arrested with cocaine. Prosecutor Gail Nichols said the charges were lessened because Jenrette was not ready to be out of jail, but was let out anyway. She said he is doing well under the direction of The Right Door, a local substance-abuse recovery program.