Casper Woman Sentenced For Endangering Child With Methamphetamine
A woman was sentenced to a two- to three-year prison term for using methamphetamine in an apartment where a three-year-old child was staying, a judge ruled Friday.
Tina Baker, who was 44 when arrested, heard the sentence from Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins.
Baker will serve the prison term concurrently with a sentence she received in a Converse County court, Sulllins said.
She was initially charged with one felony count of endangering a child with methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of methamphetamine possession. The misdemeanor count was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk recommended a two-and-a-half to three-year prison term.
Baker's public defender Rob Oldham recommended probation in part because she had been sober for 22 months before relapsing.
Sullins said the facts of the case and Baker's background made his decision challenging, but he said probation was not warranted because of prior felonies and probation revocations.
The case started on Dec. 28 when Casper police officers went to Baker's residence in the Foxhill Apartments to conduct a welfare check on a child after they learned she was taking care of the child and possibly using drugs.
Officers arrived and spent nearly two hours trying to reach Baker before she answered the door at about 10:15 a.m., according to the affidavit.
Baker appeared to have just gotten out of bed. She was reportedly rubbing her eyes, wearing pajamas, wrapped in a blanket and speaking hesitantly.
Officers found the child in one of the apartment's bedrooms.
Three probation officers also responded to Baker's apartment, as she was on probation but had not reported as scheduled in December.
Baker reportedly told officers she thought there was a meth pipe in her bedroom in a black case.
Officers brought in a drug dog, which indicated on a small flowery case and two black ash trays. The case allegedly contained a methamphetamine pipe, while the ash trays contained methamphetamine residue.
Wyoming Department of Family Services workers arrived and took custody of the child.
They also said they would have the child medically checked. Baker said the child vomited the previous evening and had bad diarrhea that morning.
Plans were also made to have a hair follicle test done on the child to check for methamphetamine in the child's system.