DARKE COUNTY - Lacie D. Copeland, 21, of Greenville was sentenced to five years of intensive community supervision on Monday after pleading guilty to four counts of burglary in the second degree.
As part of her sentence, Copeland is required to seek and maintain employment, complete 125 hours of community service, successfully complete treatment through Darke County Recovery Services and all other recommended treatment programs.
Copeland previously entered a guilty plea in August 2013 to the four counts of Burglary, while a fifth count was dismissed in return for her plea and cooperation in the prosecution of her co-defendant, Matt Bowlin. Both Bowlin and Copeland’s other co-defendant, Terry Goodpaster, are currently serving sentences in prison.
For her four counts of burglary, Copeland faced a maximum of 32 years in prison and a $60,000 fine.
The state prosecution did not recommend a prison sentence, as the offenses had occurred in September of 2012 and Copeland had since completed the MonDay Correctional Institution program and achieved her General Equivalency Diploma (GED) during her stay, and Terry Goodpaster had also been found guilty of burglary.
But Copeland was still identified as a high risk to re-offend due to her lack of employment and prior criminal and abuse history.
In fact, while this case was pending, she dropped out of a court-ordered Darke County Recovery Services program and failed to keep in touch with her parole officer, earning her 39 days in the Darke County Jail.
According to Copeland, her last stay in jail made her realize that she would need to change in order to provide for her child.
“This past time when I went into jail it really hit me that I need to turn myself around. It was a maximum of 32 years I was looking at, and if I was to do that my child would already have her own family and I would be gone. I wouldn’t be there for her, and I want to do everything I can to stay in her life,” said Copeland. “When I came home it really hit me, because she knew I was in jail this time. She’s at the age where she knows. She told me that she didn’t want mommy to ever go back to jail.”
But Darke County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein remained skeptical.
“I can’t let this go on any longer and expect the public to have any competence in what’s going on in the courthouse,” said Hein. “Now I can’t promise you what’s going to happen in the future, but the law doesn’t have endless patience.”
Now, the decision to rehabilitate is once again up to Copeland.
“At some point in time if you’re going to raise a daughter, or any other child, you’ve got to lead not follow. Do you want your daughter to do this?” warned Judge Hein. “Kids watch and emulate what their parents do, for the good and for the bad. If you don’t do better, she doesn’t have a chance.”
If Copeland fails to comply with the requirements of her sentence, she could face a three-year prison sentence on each burglary count to be run concurrently.