LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF)- Despite an extensive criminal history, Nichole Larae Marlow cried foul when she was given a seven year prison sentence after pleading guilty to possession of contraband in a penal facility. She felt that alternative sentencing, such as probation, would have been a better course of action.
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed, upholding Marlow’s sentence.
The opinion, which was filed on Friday, said the sentence was appropriate given Marlow’s past.
While the charge that precipitated her prison sentence occurred in 2018, Marlow’s criminal behavior dates back to at least 2002, according to the court’s filing. From that point on, she has been charged with various drug charges, theft, attempted forgery, criminal impersonation and numerous probation violations. Marlow has also spent time in federal prison.
At the time she was charged with the latest offense, Marlow was on bail for burglary and theft, the court record said.
When Marlow was sentenced, Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton said incarceration was necessary “to avoid depreciating the seriousness of the offense.”
Another prong of Marlow’s argument was that when she was caught with Suboxone in the Campbell County Jail, there was no proof as to her intent with the drug. Prosecutors said that while a “tip” had alerted them to Marlow having the drugs, it would have been “pure speculation” as to whether it was for personal use or to distribute.
When Sexton enhanced Marlow’s sentence, and denied probation, on the basis of her intent to distribute the Suboxone, Marlow’s attorney argued there was no evidence to support that.
The appeals court saw the sentence enhancement differently. “Even if the trial court erred by applying the enhancement factor” for Marlow’s believed intention, Sexton was still correct in increasing Marlow’s sentence due to her “numerous prior criminal convictions and behaviors,” the opinion said. The court went on to say that given Marlow’s lengthy criminal history she is not a candidate for probation.
She is currently being housed at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Marlow is eligible for parole in Jan. 2021. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED- 10/29/2020-6AM)