An attempt to help a friend resulted in a former Marietta daycare provider receiving three years community control sanctions and 17 days in the Washington County Jail from Judge Randall Burnworth Thursday afternoon.
Deidra Fouss, 51, plead guilty on March 27 to selling 35 Vicodin pills out of her home, 722 Fifth St., Marietta, in October 2012. She operated the home as a daycare for area children and was originally charged with a third-degree felony trafficking in drugs at the time of her arrest.
Throughout the case, Fouss stated she was simply giving the drugs to a friend who said he was in pain and needed the medication. She reiterated that Thursday, and expressed remorse at the time of her sentencing.
"I just want to say I'm sorry," Fouss said. "I was just trying to help somebody...I've always been taught to help those who need help."
According to police, Fouss sold the 35 Vicodin pills to a confidential informant of the Major Crimes Task Force. The sale took place with three children in the daycare home at the time.
Fouss accepted $140 in payment for the pills, and restoration for the purchase was required to the Major Crimes Task Force as well as court costs as part of the sentencing.
Fouss' attorney, Dennis Sipe, said the woman was merely trying to help her friend, who offered her payment for the pills she offered to give him to help ease his pain.
"A very pleasant lady, who unfortunately simply didn't appreciate, I think, that helping a friend was going to be a large criminal act," Sipe said.
As part of her plea agreement, the charges against Fouss were lowered to a fifth-degree felony and a bill of information between the parties was arranged with her spending three years under community control sanctions.
A fifth-degree felony carries a maximum of 18 months in jail.
"If you end up violating your community control, the court will end up imposing a prison sentence of 12 months in Marysville," Burnworth warned.
With no prior record, Burnworth and Sipe both said they doubt Fouss will appear in the court system again.
In addition to the jail time, for which she was credited two days already served, Sipe said the woman has suffered severe economic harm as she has lost her daycare license and throughout the process she has cooperated fully with authorities.
"I would agree with the judge and her," Sipe said. "I will be surprised if she's back in court. I would be very surprised."