Johnson City Press Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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East Tennessee woman who was pregnant while making, taking meth gets 151 months in prison

July 16th, 2014 9:21 am by Megan Boehnke, Knoxville News-Sentinel

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

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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