Judge Melton Grants Furlough For Pregnant Inmate
Friday, April 1, 2011 6:54 pm
Cannon County General Sessions Judge Susan Melton granted a furlough Friday night to a pregnant inmate at the Cannon County Jail who is due to deliver by C-section in less than two weeks.
Judge Melton's decision to release Angela Rose Hodge came after blood tests revealed she was drug-free (see earlier information below).
Hodge is serving a sentence for violation of probation. She failed two urine drug tests in court Tuesday, but the followup blood test showed those results to be in error.
Judge Melton furloughed Hodge for 90 days. She is to report back to the jail July 1.
During that time, she is to engage in good and lawful behavior, not use drugs, not associate with felons, take all medications as they are prescribed and attend all medical appointments.
Hodge will be cited for failure to appear is she does not return July 1.
No drugs were found in the blood of a pregnant inmate at the Cannon County Jail who was denied a furlough this week.
The inmate, Angela Rose Hodge, signed a consent form granting permission for the results of the blood test to be released to the Cannon Courier.
This past Tuesday, in Cannon County General Sessions Court, Hodge failed two urine tests as Judge Susan Melton was considering her request for a furlough.
Hodge is scheduled to have her child delivered by C-section on April 13.
The urine tests administered at the courthouse indicated Hodge had methamphetamine in her system.
However, Hodge passed a urine test at the Cannon County Jail following her court appearance and she was then taken to Stones River Hospital to have blood drawn for followup testing.
Christie Ferrell, a nurse at the jail, said the only sure and accurate way to test for drugs is a blood or hair follicle test.
LabCorp performed the analysis of Hodge's blood. A blood profile was performed for seven drugs.
The results were negative for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinold, cocaine and metab, opiates and phencyclidine.
Public Defender Kenneth McKnight, who is representing Hodge, disputed the findings of the court-administered tests. He said he has known them to return inaccurate results in the past.
Judge Melton granted McKnight's request to reconsider Hodge's furlough request this coming Tuesday pending the results of the blood tests.
McKnight said Friday he was not surprised by the results of the blood test, and was hopeful Judge Melton would consider the new information Tuesday.
"I am hopeful Judge Melton will let her (Hodge) out just long enough so she can have her baby, take care of it, and then come back and serve the remainder of her sentence, which has three weeks left," McKnight said. "I believe doing so would be in the best interest of the court and of the baby."