Sherrie Gavan’s son became addicted to heroin. She knew where he was getting the drugs and she took that information to the local police.
In spite of her efforts, nothing was done. She managed to get her son away from his source, got him clean and kept him close to her, to watch over him and safeguard his sobriety – but the supplier kept calling.
Finally, in desperation, Sherrie Gavan confronted the young man her son identified to be his supplier and when she felt threatened, swung a bat and hit him in the arm – twice. It wasn’t hard. He wasn’t brutally injured, hardly even bruised and it seemed to finally drive home the point that he needed to stay away from her son.
Still, the state of Missouri, more specifically the prosecuting attorney of Jefferson County, felt Gavan’s actions were so heinous that she was charged with assault.
A jury of her peers found Gavan guilty of third degree misdemeanor assault; a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
It was a long wait from the day of her verdict to sentencing and there was worry that the fullness would be visited upon her. Last week, her day in court finally arrived.
Jefferson County Judge Timothy Miller admonished Gavan “In a vigilante system, there is no justice, only vengeance” but went on to state that it would serve no purpose to incarcerate her and that he felt she was “an asset to the community”.
In the end, Gavan was given two years parole and a suspended sentence. As long as Gavan follows the letter of the law while on parole, eventually, even the sentence of third degree assault will even be erased from her record.
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