Wedowee Mom Faces Jail Time
Local friends rally with letters …
“Mother should be where she belongs… Home with her child.”
Local friends of Terill Drake of Wedowee, have started writing letters to the Judge who will pronounce sentence on her for a charge she faces because her boyfriend brought drugs into her home. The letter-writers hope the Judge’s heart will be touched and leniency will be shown because they say, “Terill does not deserve to go to jail for something her boyfriend did that she didn’t know about.” November 13, at 9:00 am Drake will face a sentencing judge on charges of Child Chemical Endangerment, a charge friends say, she faces only because she opened up her heart and her home to a man who ended up using her. Terill told The People’s Voice, “I know I will have to go to jail, and I will surely lose my job.”
But many local friends are collaborating to write letters to the Judge, attesting to Mrs. Drake’s character and life-style.
“On May 9th 2008 the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and Narcotic’s Unit executed a search warrant on my home in Wedowee.”
According to Ms. Drake, authorities did recover drugs but, “they were my live-in boyfriend’s, and I didn’t even know they were there…”
According to Drake, the boyfriend was arrested on the scene and charged with the drugs and chemical endangerment of a child.
“I wasn’t arrested on the scene, but was asked to come to the county courthouse to submit to questioning. I did, and was read my rights and asked one question: ‘Did I know of the boyfriends drug involvement?’ I answered ‘no’ and the questioning officer got up and said that I had my chance and he was going up to the DA’s office to find ‘SOMETHING’ to charge me with. It was at this time, I was charged with chemical endangerment of a child.”
“In the boyfriend’s statement to the police he said that he normally didn’t bring drugs to the home, but on that particular night (around 1am) he did because he was tired and didn’t want to go back to his hiding place. The police served their warrant at 6:30 am and that was because the drugs were found in an upper cabinet in the kitchen my daughter could get a hold of.”
Drake believes that the charge she now faces, stem from a 2006 law passed in response to the numerous meth labs being found around the state where minor children resided. Drake said, “I believe in Alabaster they have since adapted the law to fit mother’s who deliver children with drugs in their system.”
But, Drake has some friends around the community who are stepping up to vouch for her character, and are planning to do that on November 13, the day she is sentenced.
“I’ve known Terill since she was a grown girl coming into young adulthood, and she’s always been balanced and hard-working; she’s a good girl…” said Charlotte Clark-Frieson, a civil rights activist, past NAACP President, and a co-founder of The People’s Voice. “I’ve had numerous dealings with Terill and her family. These people are as good as gold, and I just don’t believe she is a drug user, nor that she would ever let a man continue to live around her child knowing he’s selling drugs.”
Clark-Frieson added, “This girl’s been working on a job for eleven years…. It hurts me, and I hate it so bad when our young black women get tied up with men who use them this way. All young women are looking for love and companionship. Why should she be punished and have to suffer, for being kind and loving toward a man who turns out to be a grand rascal? This is what can and does happen when you choose the wrong man. Most of our girls can’t see this until it’s everlasting too late. I hate to see Terill in this predicament, and as bad as I’m feeling these days, I will be there to stand up for her, regardless of how I feel.”
Another of Drake’s friends, Stacy Carlisle of Roanoke has written in a letter that “Terill has a heart of gold, is a very sweet person, and tries to help those that she can… I feel like what happened to Terill is very wrong, and that she’s being railroaded.”
Carlisle says, “Terill should be allowed to go home to her child, where she belongs.”
Terill Drake recalls that at trial (October 22), “all the evidence presented was all about him. They say that I was convicted not because I knowingly, or intentionally let him stay in the home while selling drugs, but I did it recklessly… he gets a slap on the wrist, but I could get years.”
Clark-Frieson is collecting the letters, and urges anyone who knows Terill, and believes this to be a miscarriage of justice, and is willing to stand up, to write a letter of support for her, and attend the sentencing on November 13. Clark-Frieson concluded: “Now is the time for anybody who means any good, to put their money where their mouth is… because after the child is sentenced, it will be EVERLASTING, too late. Now, I don’t know all that much about the facts in the case…. But the important thing is that I know Terill.”