Judge Urges Falls City Woman To Make The Most of Probation

FALLS CITY – A Falls City woman who was arrested for possession of methamphetamine while awaiting sentencing on a meth conviction has been offered her best chance to beat addiction, said District Judge Julie Smith.

The judge said Tuesday that Nebraskans often report that they cannot afford in-residence treatment for addiction, but people on state probation may qualify for vouchers to make the treatment programs affordable. She also said a probation sentence for a misdemeanor attempted possession charge, means there are few legal obstacles for her to sentence someone to prison,  if they leave treatment unsuccessfully.

Smith: “If you ever thought you might want to get away from methamphetamine, this is your chance,” the judge told 28-year-old Cara Cavaness.

She sentenced Cavaness to 18 months probation and ordered  her into the custody of the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office until a place can be found for her in a residential treatment program.

Prior to sentencing, Deputy Richardson County Attorney Samantha Scheitel told the judge that she does not think Cavaness is suitable for probation. She described Cavaness as having a history of meth and opiods usage and said Cavaness has a “limited motivation to achieve sobriety.”

Public Defender Steven Mercure said Cavaness’ arrest for meth possession, while she was awaiting sentencing, was a cry for some help.

The judge told Cavaness that, while the addiction may make her feel that she does not need treatment, she hopes the probability of incarceration will motivate her to give treatment programs her best effort.

The judge said, if she sentences Cavaness to incarceration, she will do her time and still be an addict when she is released. She said probation offers a chance for a better outcome.

Smith: “The end goal being, you’re no longer using controlled substances and you’re no longer coming into court.”

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