Townsend pled guilty to chemical endangerment of a child

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 12, 2019

Samantha Townsend, 26, pled guilty to chemical endangerment of a child before Circuit Judge Lex Short and received a 10-year sentence under the Habitual Felony Offender Act.

After Townsend gave birth to a child who tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine, Covington County Department of Human Resources was contacted, and the investigation was jointly conducted by DHR and the 22nd Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force.

Assistant District Attorney Nikki Stephens, who prosecuted the case, noted that one of Townsend’s previous convictions was for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and after Townsend is released from custody to probation, she will be required to complete a residential substance abuse rehab program.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said that children of people who struggle with addiction are affected in different ways by their parents’ problems.

“It is important to Stephens and I to help new parents who deal with substance abuse issues become healthy,” Merrell said. “And one of the goals of all the men and women who work with the Covington County Child Advocacy Center is to have healthy parents raising healthy children.”

While the CCCAC deals with the children who go through traumatic situations, Merrell said that his office helps the mothers that go through them.

“What we want is for that addicted mother to come in my office and say they need help,” Merrell said. “If an addicted woman came into my office right now and said that she was addicted to whatever and that she needed help, then my only effort would be to get her into a clean environment.”