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Otterman granted 8th continuance

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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.

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What are we wasting taxpayer dollars going after the mother for, when it turns out it was the kids' fault?! We should be giving excessive continuances to the kids! They're the ones that did the drugs, not the mother!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????!!!!

It is clearly the kids' fault that the drugs were in their system. Let's hear it for our justice system, where our public defenders and judges are sorry excuses for community defenders, and the only people getting help from the court are the ones who commit these crimes. I just couldn't be any prouder of our court system than I have been this summer. From excusing excessive child molesting to blaming a one year old and three month old for doing drugs. Wow, Putnam County! What is next?? What a terrible, disgusting shame!!

-- Posted by mrshandy2010 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 4:55 AM

Are you kidding me? Come on, deal with this mother so those children can be out of her care. Amy is a poor excuse for a mother and I'm thinking our judicial system is no better. Its a black and white case here. This children in no way took drugs theirself. That is just insane. If i'm missing something please let me know. I have known this girl for years and years and in no way is she stable. Never has been and never will be period.

-- Posted by justme44 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 7:26 AM

Well personally I blame TV and the subliminal messages that are embedded in the commercials.:)

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 7:30 AM

To say that a baby is at fault for exposing itself to these things is completely ridiculous. Parents are responsible for anything that their children are exposed to. Period. This "parent" should accept the punishment and deal with any consequences, including having her parental rights revoked.

-- Posted by perrytheplatapus on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 8:11 AM

Really..a 1 year old and a 3 month old baby took the drugs themselves? That is ridiculous that can even be considered.

-- Posted by floyd'srangerriders on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 12:35 PM

Right on, NPGrad... How is allowing a 1 yr. old and a 3 mo. old to get to drugs not a case of 1st degree neglect? The 3 mo. old is not even MOBILE yet, which indicates that someone had to give it to the child!!! And just who is PAYING ($$$) for the drug programs/rehab centers that she was allowed to enter?? As well as the hospital bills for the 3rd child? If judge Hadley accepts this 'plea agreement', he is just as negligent with his duties as is she with hers!! And we wonder why we have teenagers shooting 8/9 people in the middle of the streets!

-- Posted by Allie2 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 1:05 PM

Enough is enough. She already plead guilty. What more does the court system need to consider? And once again, how in the world did she get those kids back before her sentencing? Not only has the court system failed these children but someone should seriously investigate our CPS system. Something is very wrong there if they in any way feel this woman could provide a better environment than the loving home I know they were staying in. Amy will never be the mother these girls deserve and that has been her choice.

-- Posted by scarlett39 on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 9:16 PM

Someone please tell me how a 3mo old got ahold of the drugs. I've got 2 children, both very smart and well developed, but at 3 months old I don't remember them being very mobile!

Regardless of the circumstances, she needs to be jailed and those kids need to be taken away for good.

-- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Thu, Jul 22, 2010, at 9:32 PM

How does a 3 MO roll a joint anyway?

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sat, Jul 24, 2010, at 8:45 AM

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