Mom-to-be can have baby out of prison

A pregnant Parkersburg woman accused of violating the terms of her judicial release will be allowed to have her baby before being sent back to prison.

Amber D. Martin, 23, of Parkersburg, was to be sentenced Thursday on a handful of judicial release violations including associating with a convicted felon, not disclosing a recent drug possession citation in West Virginia, and failing to report to her supervising officer.

Martin had originally been sentenced to a year in prison in 2010 for barging into the home of her child’s father and assaulting him and several other individuals in the home, said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings.

“It was a dispute over custody of a small child. Her mom and her boyfriend at the time came with her and got involved in the fight, and they were also convicted and sent to prison,” said Rings of the altercation.

The assault was bad enough that at least one of the victims required surgery, said Rings.

Martin was convicted on a fourth-degree felony charge of burglary and a first-degree misdemeanor charge of assault and sentenced to a year in prison.

“She served about half and was granted judicial release,” he said.

Because of the current violations, Martin’s supervising officer recommended terminating her judicial release, said Rings.

“I have a memo here recommending…she be ordered to serve the remainder of her balance in prison,” he said.

Martin served 190 days of her one-year prison sentence. However, Martin’s initial one-year sentence was not the maximum, and she could technically be sent back to serve the balance of an 18-month sentence-approximately 11 and a half months.

Martin’s attorney Randall Jedlink requested that she be able to serve time in the Washington County Jail after the birth of her child.

“We’re going to recommend she be sentenced to 30 to 60 days locally,” said Jedlink.

Martin is scheduled for a cesarean section Sept. 17, said Jedlink.

“If at all possible, Ms. Martin would be grateful if she could turn herself in shortly after that,” he added.

But Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane said he did not plan on allowing a local jail sentence.

“It’s my intention to send her to prison. She’s into drugs. She has a history of violence. She violated (judicial release) multiple times,” said Lane.

Martin was cited in Wood County for drug possession. Failure to report that contact with law enforcement was a violation, said Rings. Martin was also not keeping the office informed of her whereabouts, he said.

“She was staying in hotels with a convicted felon,” said Rings.

Lane gave Martin the option of being sentenced to prison immediately or waiting until after her child is born.

“If she goes now, the baby will stay with her in prison,” explained Lane.

Ohio is one of nine states to allow a child to temporarily stay with a mother if she gives birth while incarcerated. The Ohio Reformatory for Women can house a mother and an infant up to 18 months old.

However, Martin asked that she be allowed to have her baby outside of prison so she can stay with her current doctors.

Her sentencing was rescheduled for Oct. 10.