Drug-dealing mom gets 5 years in prison

An Edinburgh woman who admitted selling methamphetamine while caring for her infant child has been sentenced to five years in prison.

None of the five years handed down Monday to Jessica B. Sheckles, 36, was suspended by Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton.

However, the judge did order that the time be served concurrently with a nine-year sentence from Johnson County.

Sheckles began serving that time at the Rockville Correctional Facility near Terre Haute after her September sentencing hearing in Franklin for drug dealing and inmate trafficking.

On Jan. 7, 2016, Sheckles was under police audio surveillance when she sold methamphetamine inside a residence near South Main and Waltz streets in Edinburgh, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

While handling the $25 purchase, Sheckles could be heard asking someone to watch her baby, the affidavit said.

Due to the infant’s presence, the original charge of dealing in methamphetamine was elevated to a Level 4 felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison, the document said.

A few weeks after a warrant for her arrest was issued in Bartholomew County on May 10, 2016, the courts received word that Sheckles was already being held in the Johnson County Jail, court records state.

Two months later, Sheckles was temporarily released from custody to enable her to attend a recovery center near Vincennes.

After several months of delays, Sheckles accepted a plea bargain in Worton’s court on May 1, 2017. That’s when she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of dealing in methamphetamine as a Level 5 felony, punishable by no more than six years in prison.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.