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East Tennessee woman who was pregnant while making, taking meth gets 151 months in prison

Megan Boehnke, Knoxville News-Sentinel • Jul 16, 2014 at 9:20 AM

KNOXVILLE — A federal judge Tuesday handed down a harsher sentence to a member of a methamphetamine manufacturing ring because she was eight-months pregnant at the time she helped cook and sample the drugs.

In what may have been the first sentencing case of its kind, Lacey Weld, 26, of Dandridge received a 12-year, seven-month prison term after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to cook meth.

Her lawyer, John Eldridge, said he plans to appeal U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan’s decision to apply a sentencing guideline that added prison time for putting a minor — Weld’s unborn child — at “substantial risk” while making meth.

“If the guideline meant fetus, it would have said fetus,” Eldridge said. “We look forward to addressing this most sensitive and important issue with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

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