In an order issued Friday, Associate District Judge Robert Davis decided to suspend the final four years of the sentence for Patricia M. Spottedcrow, stating she has “done better in the structure of the Department of Corrections than she had during her adult years in the community.”
Spottedcrow, 26, received the sentence last October after selling the marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Her mother, Delita Starr, 51, was also charged.
Their stories were publicized in a Tulsa World series earlier this year about Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate.
In blind guilty pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received prison time and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.
Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch, who represents Spottedcrow, said the punishment does not fit the crime.
“We are pleased Judge Davis recognized her sentence needed to be modified, but we are simply not pleased with the amount of time that was modified,” Welch said. “I don’t walk away from this feeling good even with four years knocked down, and I’m not going to give up until she is released.”
Spottedcrow’s original sentence was given by former Associate District Judge Susie Pritchett, who retired last year. Pritchett cited the sale of the drugs while children were in the home as a factor in the sentence.
The order states Spottedcrow “has accomplished much while in prison.”
“Perhaps there was some wisdom in the sentencing judge’s decision to incarcerate the defendant,” it states.
While in prison, Spottedcrow has taken parenting classes, finished her GED and participates in a grief/loss recovery program, a behavior course, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and a faith-based program. She is on the waiting list for other education programs.
“Her new behavior should be noted, complimented and rewarded,” the order states. “However, she has only served a relatively short portion of her sentence. This court believes she needs more time to prepare and mature. Her past behavior had consequences. She is experiencing those consequences now.”