By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
By doing all of the right things after an arrest on a methamphetamine charge in December, a Quincy woman avoided a prison sentence and was put on probation on Thursday.
Danielle D. Wolkitt, 39, was sentenced to 30 months of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities probation and 100 days in the Adams County Jail by Judge Scott Walden. She pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of meth precursors, a Class 2 felony. Wolkitt could have been sentenced up to seven years in prison, but she avoided that by turning her life around after she bonded out from jail after her Dec. 19 arrest in the 2000 block of Hampshire.
Wolkitt received glowing endorsements from Chaddock and Recovery Resources. A worker with Chaddock said Wolkitt displayed "an amazing attitude." A worker with Recovery Resources said Wolkitt had "made significant progress."
Wolkitt's attorney, Brett Jansen, said that Wolkitt had attended more than 100 self-help meetings since she bonded out of jail on Jan. 7. Jansen said Wolkitt also recently obtained a full-time job.
Walden said Wolkitt's actions since spared her from prison.
Wolkitt was one of five people arrested after members of the West Central Illinois Task Force served a search warrant on the residence. Officers found a Pyrex dish under the bed with a white substance believed to be meth in the bedroom that Wolkitt shared with her boyfriend, Frank Mullet. They found lithium batteries and a camera case that had what was believed to contain meth in a closet inside the bedroom.
First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha said Wolkitt bought pseudoephedrine, one of the key ingredients in making meth, four times between August 2012 and the time of her arrest. Farha said she bought pseudoephedrine three times within a 30-day period, which forced her to be blocked from buying on Dec. 9.
Wolkitt spent 22 days in jail before posting $1,000 bond on Jan. 7. She started a vigorous rehabilitation program that included in-patient treatment at Recovery Resources.
Walden made it clear to Wolkitt that she needed to stay on the right path while she was on probation. She has lost custody of her children as the result of the arrest. Wolkitt, Walden said, had quit using meth while she was pregnant with her twin sons but then started using again about four months before her arrest. He said her oldest son asked her to quit using the drug, but she didn't stop until she was arrested.
Farha said that probation was the appropriate sentence considering what Wolkitt had done and her minimal previous criminal history.
"She has made some bad choices," Farha said. "She abandoned her role as a mother in a lot of respects to fulfill an addiction. She has lost her children. It's amazing to see women, and men, too, who will sacrifice their children to fill this need that they have."
Wolkitt made a tear-filled plea to Walden for leniency.
"I am truly sorry," she said. "I would like a chance to make amends, please."
By receiving TASC probation, Wolkitt could have the felony charge taken off her record if she successfully completes all of the terms of her probation. Walden stayed the rest of Wolkitt's jail time as well.
She is the third person to be sentenced in connection with the case.
Mullet, 51, was sentenced to 30 months probation and 180 days in jail on March 25 after he pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful use of property, a Class 2 felony.
Sheldon L. Broome, 34, received a 15-year prison sentence on March 13 after pleading guilty to unlawful meth manufacturing, a Class 1 felony.
Rita R. Black, 25, pleaded guilty to unlawful meth manufacturing of less than 15 grams, a Class 1 felony. She will be sentenced on May 6.
William J. Mullett, 31, pleaded not guilty during a preliminary hearing in January. His case is set on the May jury docket.
All five defendants were originally charged with a Class X charge of aggravated unlawful meth manufacturing. The charge was aggravated because children lived in the home.