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Mother jailed for probation violation in neglect case

Latoya Woodland

Leonardtown, MD -- A St. Mary’s County woman has been sentenced to 18 months in the St. Mary’s County Detention Center for violating the terms of her probation in a conviction for child neglect. Latoya Woodland, 28, of Lexington Park was sentenced Aug. 14 by St. Mary’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen Abrams.

Woodland, whose rap sheet includes arrests for cocaine possession, shoplifting and failure to appear in court, was sentenced to three years in jail in November of 2013 after admitting that she left her two children, ages 2 and 3 at the time, alone at home.

At her sentencing hearing early last year, Woodland’s attorney argued that his client just went down the street to get some milk and when she got back home police were on the scene and she didn’t want her children to see their mother being arrested.

Judge Abrams at the time suspended all but six months of Woodland’s three-year sentence. But she also didn’t buy the argument put forth by her attorney. The judge said, “They (the children) might have run out into the street and been hit by a car,” adding to Woodland: “You keep making bad judgments.”

This time Woodland’s bad judgment was that she admittedly had a relapse in her apparent drug addiction after she lost a job. She also failed to complete drug counseling, all of which were violations of the terms of her probation.

Judge Abrams did not impose the entire two-and-a-half-years of backup time, instead limiting it to 18 months so Woodland can serve her time locally and get into a drug treatment program. The judge said she hoped Woodland eventually could get into the Adult Drug Court. She advised Woodland, “You can’t afford a relapse.”

Woodland was represented at the violation of probation hearing by public defender Eric Sullivan, who asked for work release for his client. Judge Abrams denied the request, saying Woodland needed to get into a drug treatment program first before she would consider it.

Contact Dick Myers at dick.myers@thebaynet.com

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