Casper Woman Gets Probation for Endangering Children With Meth
A Casper woman was sentenced to a term of probation Wednesday morning in district court after pleading guilty to three counts of child endangerment by methamphetamine.
District Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced 28-year-old Amber Sue Carpin to a term of three years on supervised probation with an underlying four- to five-year suspended prison sentence. Forgey also ordered Carpin to apply for -- and complete, should she be accepted -- the Intensive Supervised Probation program through the Wyoming Department of Corrections.
Carpin received the same sentence on each of the three counts to which she pleaded guilty, and will serve those sentences concurrently.
Carpin was arrested in early November after Casper police officers were contacted by the Wyoming Department of Family Services regarding a newborn child who was found to have methamphetamine in her system at birth, according to court documents.
Police, DFS workers and a probation officer responded to the home on Second Street where Carpin and the child's father, Shane Connely, lived.
While speaking to Carpin inside the home, an officer reportedly saw a glass marijuana pipe in plain view. Carpin then gave police permission to search the house for drugs.
"During the search, officers located controlled substance paraphernalia or residue amounts in four separate areas of the house," the affidavit reads in part. Charging papers detail THC wax and methamphetamine residue observed by authorities.
Three children lived in the house with Carpin and Connely, with two of them present when officers arrived.
Carpin provided a urine sample to DFS, and that sample allegedly indicated that Carpin had recently used methamphetamine.
During Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Judge Forgey told Carpin and her attorney, Joseph Cole, that he was struggling with the terms of the plea agreement, which called for Carpin to avoid prison time.
Forgey asked Carpin why he should consider a sentence of probation instead of a harsher penalty.
"It was who I was, but it's not who I really am," Carpin said of the incident. "I want my life back."
A bench warrant for Carpin's arrest was issued Feb. 27 following a petition by the state to revoke Carpin's bond. In that petition, Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk referred to a report from Alcohol and Drug Testing which detail Carpin's alleged failures to report for testing from late December through early February.
The report also showed positive urine tests for amphetamines on January 5 and January 11.
"I know I haven't made a lot of big steps, but I'm taking as many steps as I can," Carpin told Forgey.
Assistant District Attorney Jared Holbrook, who represented the state during Wednesday's hearing, told Forgey the state did not intend to invoke the cold plea provision contained in the plea agreement.
That provision, which is commonplace in plea deals, essentially states that should a defendant violate their bond conditions before sentencing, the prosecution would be allowed to argue for a harsher sentence than what had been agreed to in the plea agreement. In such scenarios, the defendant is generally not allowed to withdraw their guilty plea.
Of Carpin's alleged bond violations, Forgey said, "Some of these things are basic expectations, and my concern is whether you'll be successful on probation."
Forgey ultimately decided that Carpin should have a chance at probation.
"The way I look at it, ma'am, you've been provided a pretty generous opportunity here," Forgey told Carpin after reading her sentence. "I hope you take advantage of it, if only for your children."
"You obviously know what's at stake here," Forgey concluded.