Blog Posts > Civil Fines vs. Prison Time: As Opioid Trial Plays Out, Stakes are Different for Ordinary West Virginians
June 28, 2021

Civil Fines vs. Prison Time: As Opioid Trial Plays Out, Stakes are Different for Ordinary West Virginians

Mountain State Spotlight – The defendant appeared on a television screen at 1:30 p.m. Read the full article.

The courtroom was still and quiet. There wasn’t anyone in the benches to watch — no crowd of press, no excess of legal aides. It was just two lawyers, a judge, a handful of courtroom staff and a woman on a video system, phoning in from a jail 66 miles away.

This time, it was a 28-year-old from Beckley with pin-straight, auburn hair pulled up into a half ponytail. As the charges were read — intent to sell heroin, possession of a firearm — she bowed her head and stared off into the corner of the sterile, white room where she was being held. When the judge asked for her plea, she looked up and said “not guilty.” A trial date was set for August. The video screen went black at 1:38 p.m. 

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