GREENCASTLE -- An eighth continuance has been granted in the case of a Greencastle woman who pled guilty in June to three Class D felony counts of neglect of a dependent.
Amy Marie Otterman (formerly Reed) was arrested in October 2008 after her 1-year-old and 3-month-old daughters tested positive for methamphetamine, methadone, cocaine and marijuana.
Reed was originally also charged with two Class C felony counts of neglect of a dependent, two Class C felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and a Class B misdemeanor count of interfering with a drug or alcohol screening test. If the court accepts the plea agreement that has been presented in the case, those charges will all be dismissed.
Although Judge Matthew Headley has taken the plea agreement under advisement, he is under no obligation to accept it. Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said the plea was offered because it was discovered that Otterman did not actually administer drugs to her children, but that the "substances were in the home and the children accessed them on their own."
Otterman's first pretrial conference was set for March 19, 2009. It was then continued to May 7, 2009.
The attorney who was representing Otterman at the time, Public Defender James Ensley, then informed the court that his client wished to enter a change of plea, and that hearing was set for June 11, 2009.
That date was subsequently continued to July 30, 2009, then Sept. 28, 2009, then Oct. 19, 2009.
On Oct. 19, 2009, a final pretrial conference was set for Jan. 27. On Dec. 2, 2009, Ensley withdrew from the case and Public Defender Melinda Jackman-Hanlin took over.
On Jan. 7, the final pretrial conference was continued to April 1, then to March 18. A jury trial was then set for April 14, and was later continued to June 23.
On June 14, Otterman pled guilty to the three neglect counts, and sentencing was set for July 15. Jackman-Hanlin filed a motion to continue on July 14, and Otterman's sentencing is now set for July 29.
"The defense has asked for these continuances," Bookwalter said. " We are ready to get (Otterman) sentenced, and we will be asking for jail time."
Otterman was in jail for several months before being released in January 2009 to pursue independent outpatient drug treatment. Several months later, she was granted permission by the court to transfer into a drug rehabilitation program in Putnam County, which she has since completed.
Otterman has been submitting to random court-ordered drug tests since her release from jail. She has also maintained employment.
Bookwalter said to his knowledge, Reed has not failed any of her drug screens since completing treatment.
Otterman was pregnant when she was arrested, and gave birth to her third child, a boy, in February 2009. That child has remained in her care since birth. The children involved in the case were initially put in the care of family members, but have since been returned to Otterman.
Otterman's criminal past includes convictions in 2000 for theft of license plates and battery.