Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds announces that a Marietta woman has been sent to prison after being convicted of possessing heroin and crashing her vehicle.
Andrea Nicole Bolton, 32, was driving a black Chevrolet C1500 with two passengers, including her young daughter, on the evening of April 1, 2013, on South Cobb Drive near Barclay Circle in Marietta when the vehicle left the roadway and struck three utility poles. The vehicle flipped over, entrapping and injuring the front-seat passenger. At least one telephone pole was broken in half. Witnesses reported Ms. Bolton had been driving erratically for about a mile before the crash. Heroin and syringes were found in Ms. Bolton’s bag, though she insisted they were not hers. Before trial, she rejected a plea offer of probation and treatment.
On Wednesday, a Cobb jury convicted Ms. Bolton of possession of heroin, one count of serious injury by vehicle, and reckless driving. She was acquitted of DUI, another count of serious injury by vehicle, and endangering a child.
“This is the type of case where accountability comes in big time,” ADA Theresa Schiefer said during sentencing Friday morning. “This is one of the most dangerous types of addicts – someone who won’t admit they have a problem. It seems the crash would have been a wake-up call. Now it’s two years later, we’ve continued to have dirty drug screens, and I continue to hear denial.”
The defendant’s mother testified on her behalf and Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Stephen Schuster asked her what Ms. Bolton has done about her drug problem since the crash.
“Is this defendant going to fight to make herself well, or is she always going to blame it on others?” Judge Schuster asked. “We see in a number of cases that they (drug users) don’t want to admit to their families that they have a problem. Our worldview now is that treatment is better than prison, but the person has to want it. … This could have been a case where a six-year-old child died.”
He then sentenced the defendant to 10 years, with three years to serve in custody and the rest on probation. As a condition of her probation, she must complete a residential treatment program.
Marietta attorney Carlos Rodriguez represented the defendant, who was returned to custody after the jury verdict on Wednesday. She had been free on bond while awaiting trial.
Cobb Police investigated the case.
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