DA: Prison in best interest of unborn child

A 21-year-old Kremmling woman was sentenced to one year in prison for violating bail bond conditions under a plea agreement the district attorney said was in the best interest of her unborn child.

Lisa Marie Strahl appeared in District Court on Wednesday on two Routt County charges of possessing crystal meth, bail bond violation and two cases from Grand County. She pleaded guilty to violating bail bond. Eight other cases and charges against her were dismissed.

As part of the plea agreement, the drug charges and bail bond violations were dropped. District Judge Michael O'Hara sentenced Strahl to one year in prison followed by one year mandatory parole and imposed fines.

Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann told the judge that Strahl had no previous felony arrest record before the first drug arrest Sept. 7. Despite the dismissed cases, Strahl is receiving a harsher sentence than others convicted of similar crimes, Uhlmann said.

Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said he thought Strahl, who is pregnant, was addicted to meth and failed to appear in court because of that addiction.

The plea agreement was made in the best interest of the unborn child, St. James said, and provided a time where Strahl would not have easy access to meth.

"The focus was to the child," St. James said.

In January, O'Hara issued a bench warrant for Strahl after she repeatedly failed to appear in court.

Strahl was arrested Sept. 7 and Oct. 9, charged both times with possession of a Schedule II drug and drug paraphernalia.

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