Students at the Sweet Springs elementary school had been asked by their teacher to bring in important family items for a show and tell event. One six-year old boy decided to bring that which was nearest and dearest to his mother - her crack pipe and several baggies filled with crystal meth. Court documents reveal the the drugs are worth about $3,700.
reports that worried and shocked school officials contacted the police who then executed a search warrant at the mother's home. Court records indicate that a search warrant was executed and a police dog named "Boomer" found a crack pipe. The mother, 32-year old Michelle Marie Cheatham was charged Monday, Sept. 12, with class C felony possession of a controlled substance and with class C felony endangering the welfare of a child.
The Marshall Democrat-News
reports that both charges include the same range of punishment. If convicted, Cheatham could face up to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or up to one year in the county jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
The crystals that had been brought into school by the child tested positive for methamphetamine. Police Chief Richard Downing told KCTV-5 that the incident marked a first in his law enforcement career.
The circumstances of the arrest have worried neighbors. One resident of the small town said,
"That kind of makes you wonder why parents would leave something like that out for a child to get a hold of."
A family friend says Cheatham's life took a downturn after her husband died earlier this year in a car crash and she received a large military pension. The pension enabled her to post the $7,500 bail, and she was then hospitalized because of complications from an earlier gastrointestinal surgery. The friend says the boy is now being cared for by loved ones.
Cheatham is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, Sept. 28.