Rebecca Ann Cook of Jones County had her February 2019 sentence to Drug Court revoked Wednesday morning, June 12, and will now have to serve eight years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Cook pleaded guilty to two counts of felony DUI back on February 19. Cook also will face two years of probation once she exits prison and still must pay courts costs and fees.
Circuit Court Judge Dal Williamson ordered the revocation and new destination for Cook after learning that she had not reported to Drug Court or community service, nor had she paid court costs and fees as was arranged for her to do back in February when she avoided a prison stint by being accepted into Drug Court. Drug Court is a program to help non-violent offenders who have no previous felony convictions learn how to live without drugs and alcohol.
Consuelo Walley, coordinator for the Drug Court program, testified that Cook failed several drug tests in April for alcohol, and she did not appear for status hearings required by the court. Cook was arrested by the Laurel Police Department on June 1 for an alleged altercation over money and then failed a drug test two days later on June 3 while still in jail. Walley said the type of drug testing kit used on Cook is able to detect substances that were ingested as far back as 72 hours.
Jerald Parrish, director of the Community Service Program, noted that Cook never reported for any community service.
“My concern is that some innocent person could suffer tragic consequences as a result of Miss Cook not being able to get this under control,” said Judge Williamson as he meted out the sentence. “My worst nightmare is that I pick up the paper and see that some child has been run over by a drunk driver.”
In another case Laderrit M. Barber, who was a convicted felon, was sent back to prison for possession of a firearm by a felon. Laurel Police Department Officer Kim Stewart was called to the stand as state witness by Assistant District Attorney Dennis Bisnette. Stewart testified that he saw Barber carrying a long rifle, which was later identified as a SKS, back on May 20 behind the Executive Inn motel in Laurel. Stewart said the SKS was basically a military rifle.
Barber was in the company of another convicted felon at the motel on the day Stewart arrested him, which was another violation of his probation, and he had not paid any of his court-ordered fees.
Barber initially indicated to his court-appointed attorney, Michael Mitchell, that he wanted to testify on his own behalf but backed away from that stance a few minutes later. Judge Williamson then pronounced his one-year jail term, which is the suspended time of his original sentence.