Pregnant Woman Denied Furlough

A pregnant woman currently incarcerated at the Cannon County Jail was denied a furlough request in Cannon County General Sessions Court Tuesday after failing two drug tests.

Angela Rose Hodge is scheduled to have her baby delivered by Caesarean section on April 13. She has been in jail for violation of probation since Nov. 29, 2010.

Judge Susan Melton was set to grant Hodge a furlough for 90 days after hearing arguments from Public Defender Ken McKnight and Assistant District Attorney David Puckett, and testimony from Jail Administrator Ed Brown.

However, that changed when the tests came back positive for methamphetamine.

"I was going to allow a furlough, but now I have two tests showing positive for meth," Judge Melton told Hodge. "You have caused us a lot of problems, but I can not afford to let you out now.

Judge Melton also told Hodge the court would notify the Tennessee Department of Children Services about the failed tests.

Jail Administrator Brown testified that prenatal care for Hodge while she has been incarcerated has cost the county in excess of $3,000. If the is in jail when the child is delivered, the bill to the county will be around $20,000, Brown said.

Following the hearing, Public Defender McKnight disputed the findings of the court-administered tests. He said he has known them to return inaccurate results in the past.

According to Brown, upon her returned to jail Tuesday, Hodge was administered another drug test, which returned negative results. She was then taken to Stones River Hospital for blood tests.

Later in the day, Public Defender McKnight requested another hearing next Tuesday to consider the results of the tests administered at the hospital. Judge Melton granted the request.