Whitson gets 5 years in prison

A Mountain Home woman was sentenced to five years in prison during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court June 27.

Thirty-three-year-old Jessica Whitson pled guilty to a single charge of breaking or entering and multiple counts of forgery.

CREDIT CARDS STOLEN AND USED

In early December 2020, a woman reported that while she was out of town, her bank called and reported “unusual activity” on her credit card.

The bank told the victim her card and been used successfully at several Mountain Home businesses and one attempted purchase had been rejected.

When the victim returned, she told investigators a purse was missing along with several credit cards and a wallet, a collection of silver dollars, a blue jacket and about $80 in change.

The victim said her son, who lives with her, had be given a ride to work by a friend — identified as Whitson. She said she believed after dropping her son off at his workplace, Whitson returned to the now unoccupied house along County Road 643, made entry and took the missing items.

Video surveillance footage from businesses where the missing credit card had been used was checked, along with information from a clerk at one store. The clerk remembered the customer using the name Jessica “Lovelady.”

When the clerk was shown a photo of Whitson, she confirmed that Whitson and “Lovelady” were the same person.

The case was filed in early January 2021.

CASE DISMISSED BY STATE

The state dismissed a possession of drug paraphernalia case against Whitson.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the dismissed case, officers with the 14th Judicial District Task Force saw Whitson in a vehicle pulled into a bay of a Midway-area carwash on November 5, 2020.

At the time, it was confirmed that Whitson had an active absconder warrant issued in Northwest Arkansas. She was initially arrested on that warrant and taken to the Baxter County Detention Center. A new charge was filed based on the traffic stop.

SYRINGE FOUND

During the stop, as the officers approached the vehicle, they reported Whitson was attempting to “conceal something between the driver’s seat and the console.”

Officers removed Whitson from the vehicle and reported that she continued to hold her right hand behind the seat until she “could no longer physically keep it there.”

A syringe with the cap removed was found in the area, along with an aerosol can where the cup portion of the can’s bottom appeared to have been used to melt a substance, allowing it to be injected.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the substance in the can bottom “indicated a positive result for methamphetamine.”

In the end, Whitson was charged only with possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class D felony.

Whitson – acting as her own lawyer – had filed a number of motions in the case seeking to dismiss the charges on speedy trial grounds.

She alleged a violation of her constitutional rights in that she had not been brought to trial in the drug paraphernalia case within a year.

Whitson is an inmate in the McPherson Unit of the state prison system serving time on an earlier conviction.

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI