Litchfield woman avoids jail in drug sentencing
MANCHESTER — A Litchfield woman was sentenced Thursday to 12 months in the Hillsborough County House of Corrections, deferred for one year, on six charges of selling oxycodone.
Kerrie Fisette, 19, of 10 Mayflower Drive, was sentenced by Judge Jacalyn Colburn. She was found guilty after a trial in December.
The Nashua Police Narcotics Intelligence Division began an investigation into Fisette in 2012 involving a confidential informant. An undercover officer made six purchases of oxycodone from Fisette between July and October 2012.
At Fisette's trial in December, Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance said the defendant did not contest the substance of the charges against her. LaFrance said the jury deliberated for less than an hour on Dec. 18 before finding her guilty on all six charges.
At a sentencing hearing Thursday, Assistant County Attorney Karinne Brobst requested a sentence of 1 to 4 years in state prison, on all of the charges, with additional conditions of drug treatment and counseling, restitution to the police department and mandatory fines. The defense requested the court sentence Fisette to 12 months in the county House of Corrections, all suspended for one year.
At sentencing, LaFrance said Fisette stated her arrest saved her life because it got her into a drug treatment and sober. LaFrance said Fisette told the court she was "glad she got arrested" but didn't feel incarceration was necessary. The state argued Fisette failed to show any proof that she had been in the drug treatment program she testified to at trial, and that prosecutors were not convinced Fisette had beaten her addiction. Because Fisette testified about her participation in the drug trade during her trial, prosecutors argued that a message needed to be sent to the community that drug activity is "unacceptable."
Prosecutors referenced statistics from the state Medical Examiner's Office regarding increases in drug deaths in New Hampshire. There were 164 drug deaths across the state in 2012, 54 of those in Hillsborough County, 23 in Nashua. Of those deaths, 34 involved oxycodone, 7 of those in Nashua in a one year period.
Due to Fisette's age and lack of prior convictions, the judge sentenced her to 12 months in the House of Corrections concurrently on all six charges, all deferred for one year. After a year, Fisette will be required to provide proof to the court of her ongoing drug treatment.
"Convicted drug dealers like Ms. Fisette need to be dealt with harshly because they are the ones spreading this poison throughout our county," said LaFrance. "The increasingly violent nature of the drug-related crimes we are seeing is disturbing and we will continue to seek stand committed time for anyone convicted of selling drugs. In our view, there is a major difference between someone who sold drugs six times to an undercover officer and someone caught with a few pills."