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Woman sentenced for forging prescription

June 16, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Williamsport woman who on Tuesday pleaded guilty to forging a prescription told a judge "you don't know me" before he imposed sentence.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III sentenced Holly Frances Melby, 48, whose last known address before her arrest was 8027 Dam No. 4 Road in Williamsport, to a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered her to complete 18 months of supervised probation. He ordered her to take her medications as prescribed and to complete a Washington County Health Department addictions program.

Melby's defense attorney, Edward Button, initially asked for a pre-sentence investigation, but Boone denied his request.

"Why would they want that?" he asked. "I could write this myself."Boone said that he knows Melby through her husband, who recently was in court.Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Steven Kessell said Holly Melby has no prior criminal record.

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Boone read over a brief statement of facts, which gives an account of the events that led up to the charge: On Jan. 21, Melby forged a doctor's signature on a prescription for Xanax at a CVS store on Wilson Boulevard. Boone said the pharmacist noticed the signature was not that of the doctor and reported the woman to police.

Button said Melby's husband will be in jail until July and his incarceration affects her ability to pay court costs.

Boone said he remembered how Melby's husband ended up in jail: Her husband was on home detention, but "because of problems with her and for his safety they put him in jail."

Melby, when given a chance to speak, said through sobs, "I feel like you're disgusted with me and you don't even know me."

Boone replied that he wanted to ensure that Melby gets the help she needs.

"You don't even know me," Melby said, sobbing more. "I think you're passing judgment before you even ask."

Boone said he was complying with a plea agreement and was essentially giving the woman a sentence in compliance with what her attorney had asked.

"I need a piece of tape over my mouth," she said, still crying.

Boone waived fines and court costs.

"I'm not disgusted. I just want you people to get help," he said.

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