Oklahoma parole board agrees to give Spottedcrow, guilty seller of $31 in pot, early hearing

Patricia Spottedcrow sits on her bunk in a dorm at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility in Taft in December. Spottedcrow is one year into her eight-year prison sentence for selling a small amount of marijuana to a police informant with her children present in Kingfisher. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

Patricia Spottedcrow sits on her bunk in a dorm at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility in Taft in December. Spottedcrow is one year into her eight-year prison sentence for selling a small amount of marijuana to a police informant with her children present in Kingfisher. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

 

By GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer

 

A Kingfisher woman serving an eight-year prison sentence on a first-time offense for selling $31 in marijuana is getting a chance at parole after the board unanimously agreed to hear her case early.

Patricia Spottedcrow, 26, is scheduled to appear on the Pardon and Parole Board’s docket April 17-20 in Oklahoma City.

Board member Marc Dreyer of Tulsa had asked for a pre-docket investigation report on Spottedcrow. After reviewing the findings, he made a motion at the January board meeting to speed up her parole hearing.

Others agreed.

“I thought her case was worthy of consideration,” Dreyer said.

Spottedcrow was arrested and charged for selling the marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Her mother, Delita Starr, 51, was also charged.

Because children were in the home, a charge of possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor was added.

In blind pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received a 12-year sentence and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.

At the time, Kingfisher County did not have a community sentencing program, such as a Drug Court or Women in Recovery.

When Spottedcrow was booked, after her sentence was handed down, marijuana was found in the jacket she was wearing. She pleaded guilty to that additional charge and was sentenced to two years running concurrent with the previous sentence.

After her story was published in the Tulsa World, a groundswell of support grew. Supporters expressed concern with possible racial bias, unequal punishment among crimes, women in prison, effects on children of incarcerated parents and extreme sentences for drug offenses.

In October, a Kingfisher County judge took four years off her sentence.

 

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