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Pregnant addict sentenced to four years for stealing jewelry from her grandmother

Desirae Marie Churchey of Sharpsburg apologized and said being in prison might help her get off drugs

February 02, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Washington County Circuit Court judge sentenced a pregnant woman to four years in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary for stealing jewelry from her grandmother to support a drug habit.

“To steal from your grandmother. That’s pretty low,” Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. said before imposing a sentence of 15 years with all but four years suspended on Desirae Marie Churchey, 21, of 4209 Mills Road Sharpsburg.

Churchey’s boyfriend, Cory Ryan Butts, was in court last week, pleading guilty to criminal conspiracy, theft and a handgun charge. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

“Desirae has struggled with addiction ... for four or five years now,” her attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, told Long. Although Churchey and Butts already have two other children, Semler said: “I do not believe they can be together and stay clean.”

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On Aug. 30, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office went to the Churchey Road home of Gilbert and Patricia Milburn for a report of a burglary. The Milburns reported that more than $10,000 in jewelry, a safe, two lock boxes, silver coins and two loaded handguns had been stolen from their home.

Patricia Milburn told investigators she suspected her granddaughter and Butts, telling them Desirae Churchey had stolen medications from her in the past and was now addicted to heroin, according to the charging documents.

Churchey and Butts later pawned some of the items at a shop in Frederick, Md., the documents said.

Churchey and Butts were arrested on Sept. 9, at which time Churchey was also found to be in possession of a controlled prescription drug, the documents said.

Churchey pleaded guilty to possession of clonazepam Thursday, and received a suspended three-year sentence concurrent with her prison term.

Churchey apologized to her grandmother and told Long that being incarcerated might help her get off drugs.

“Just get your education and get off drugs, please,” Patricia Milburn told her.

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