2010-06-24 / Front Page

Convicted Drug Dealer Sentenced To 4-10 Years

Spoonire to serve four years minimum
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn pointed out the tragedy in handing down a final prison sentence for convicted drug dealer Carolyn Marie Spoonire was reconciling the difference in descriptions given by character witnesses on Tuesday and those previously offered by state police investigators and confidential informants during a two-day jury trial.

Judge Van Horn stated among the matters taken into consideration in ordering the four- to 10- year combined sentence for delivery and possession of crack cocaine in a school zone and criminal conspiracy were character evidence, Spoonire’s letter to the court, results of a presentence investigation by the probation department and trial evidence. The judge added it was not her duty to second guess the verdict rendered by a jury of Spoonire’s peers on May 13.

Van Horn said she could be left with no other impression other than there are two Carolyn Spoonires. Sentencing, however, would be based on the crimes for which she was convicted.

“I will not and cannot tolerate selling drugs in a school zone,” the judge concluded.

Prior to being ordered to complete a minimum of four years in a state correctional institution, a sobbing and tearful Spoonire took the opportunity to say she was sorry and would take full responsibility even if she did not do the things she was accused of by the commonwealth. Spoonire, 52, stated she has tried to steer clear of situations and issues that would give her a bad reputation.

“I don’t agree that I’m a drug king pin,” she said. “...(District Attorney) Travis Kendall is not exactly correct about me.”

Also speaking on Spoonire’s behalf on Tuesday were mental health therapist Sue Ellen Plum, who testified she provided Spoonire with weekly intensive therapy for several years.

“All she wanted to do was help other people ... I can’t imagine her doing this,” said Plum. She then reiterated that Spoonire was suffering from terrible health issues and was literally fighting for her life when the two became acquainted.

“As a nurse she (Spoonire) would never go near narcotics ... She was a Christian, and we prayed after every session,” Plum stated. She added Spoonire tried to get drugs out of her home and the community and found herself worrying she would be labeled as being a part of the drug problem.

Plum admitted she had never visited Spoonire at the rental duplex she shared with live-in boyfriend Roger Barnett on East Maple Street. Needmore resident Sylvia Peck also testified she had never been to Spoonire’s residence but knew her for many years. Peck said she was acquainted with Spoonire’s family, and Spoonire served as a caretaker for her late husband for a brief time. Following her husband’s death, Peck noted she continued to receive words of inspiration through cards and letters from Spoonire. The most recent correspondence was a Mother’s Day card in 2009.

Spoonire’s landlord Harvey Kneas Jr. Kneas elaborated on individuals in the community having drug and alcohol problems and how Spoonire would often interact with and counsel them.

Kneas went on to describe Spoonire as a “grandmother type” and nurturing. “To this day I have doubts that she was a dealer ... something just doesn’t compute,” he concluded.

Spoonire testified last month during a two-day trial she did not sell crack cocaine to a confidential informant on two occasions during the summer of 2009. However, her recollection was sketchy as to if she had ever dealt drugs to anyone else.

She also reported she was unaware how $145 in marked state police bills or 6.5 grams of crack cocaine were found during a search of her former residence on July 1, 2009. She has remained in the Franklin County Prison since that time and will receive credit for time previously served. In addition to paying various fines and fees, Spoonire was also ordered to refrain from contacting her boyfriend and co-defendant, Roger Barnett.

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