A Jones County woman who did methamphetamine while she was pregnant with her fourth child will spend a couple of years in prison — but first, she got an earful from the judge.
Heather Kersey was 29 years old and ordered to spend 30 months in full custody at the Mississippi Department Corrections. She pleaded guilty to felonious abuse of children. Her baby was delivered with meth in her system in January. Child Protect Services was notified by hospital officials to initiate the Laurel Police Department investigation, which led to her arrest in February.
The baby was Kersey’s fourth, and she doesn’t have custody of any of them, she said in court.
“I’m in the process of trying to get my third one back,” she told the judge.
She attended school until fourth grade, and she has since earned her GED.
Judge Dal Williamson asked Kersey what meth was made from. When she didn’t respond, he noted that the ingredients in the drug include Draino and battery acid.
“I don’t understand how in the world a mother expecting a child would continue to pour this poison in their body,” he said, shaking his head. “Your baby can’t say, ‘No, mama, stop.’”
He asked if the baby had any birth defects, and Kersey and prosecutor Katie Sumrall said he didn’t appear to.
“Well, you need to thank God for that,” Williamson told Kersey.
In addition to the prison time, she will have to spend 30 months on post-release supervision under MDOC, participate in the court’s community service program and pay $1,927.50 in court fees and fines. Kersey was represented in court by Patrick Pacific, a public defender.
She was facing a sentence of up to life in prison, but he accepted the plea agreement after offering this warning: “If you come back to this court for pouring this poison in your unborn child, a life sentence, a life sentence will be more appropriate.”
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