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Mom pleads guilty, gets sent to STAR

Meth lab suspect jailed after bond revoked


A Proctorville woman who attacked a Fairland bus driver and a student on the driver’s school bus bypassed much of the legal process Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the charges against her in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Jamie Qualls, 30, of 3840 County Road 12, was arrested Aug. 31 on two counts of assault, one a felony and one a misdemeanor, and one count of felony disruption of a public service after she boarded a school bus, attacked the bus driver and slapped a student. When the driver tried to radio for help, Qualls took his microphone and hit him again.

Judge D. Scott Bowling ordered her to complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center, serve four years of community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and perform 200 hours of community service. She will stay in jail until she is sent to STAR.

Also Wednesday, a woman who got arrested the day after she got out of jail on meth charges found herself back in court Wednesday, explaining to Bowling why he should not revoke her bail.

Jan Bess, 48, of 276 County Road 124, Chesapeake, was arrested Aug. 1 at her home after a bail bondsman, looking for her nephew, allegedly came upon an active methamphetamine lab. Bess was one of three people arrested that day.

When she appeared in Lawrence County Municipal Court, Judge Donald Capper set bond at $50,000. Bess was indicted shortly thereafter and when she appeared before Bowling, he added an own-recognizance (OR) bond to the one Capper set. Bess posted bond a few days later but Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told Bowling Bess’ freedom was short-lived.

“She posted bond and the very next day she was caught driving 73 (miles an hour) in a 55 (mile-an hour) zone and when she was pulled over she tested above .17 (blood alcohol content) — double the legal limit. She’s had four prior offenses. She’s facing some very serious charges, complicity to manufacturing meth and she’s a convicted felon. The fact she has pleaded guilty to it (the drunk driving charge) is all the more reason why her bond should be revoked,” Anderson said.

But attorney Randy Lambert, standing in for Bess’ attorney, Mike Davenport, countered that Bess has admitted she has a problem with alcohol and is getting help for it.

“She’s taking positive steps,” Lambert said in Bess’ defense. He also countered that none of Bess’ prior DUI charges were within the past six years. Lambert said Bess’ father was in the courtroom for his daughter’s bond hearing and was willing to keep watch over Bess and make sure she didn’t drive anymore.

Bowling revoked the bond.