Elizabeth Lynn Morgan, 37, of Hailey, has been sentenced to a retained jurisdiction program following a guilty plea to the felony charge of major contraband introduced to a correctional facility in April. If successful, Morgan will be put on probation following the treatment program and will not have to serve the suspended prison sentence of one year.
According to Morgan’s defense attorney, Josh Stanek, she smuggled Klonopin—a class of benzodiazepine drug that can be used to treat anxiety—into the Blaine County jail in October, after she had been prescribed it from a doctor upon release of a hospital stay. Morgan was aware that she had a warrant out for her arrest for a misdemeanor probation violation, and that she would not be allowed to continue taking the medication in the jail. Instead of stopping the medication, Morgan smuggled the pills into the jail by hiding the medication in her vagina, Stanek explained at the sentencing hearing Tuesday.
Authorities at the jail were made aware by another inmate that Morgan had these pills, according to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Hansen. On Oct. 30, they administered a urine test and were able to obtain the pill bottle in which Morgan had been storing the Klonopin, at which point she told them she had ingested the pills in a suicide attempt. She was then taken to the St. Luke’s emergency room.
At Morgan’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, prosecuting attorney Matt Fredback, Judge Jonathan Brody and Stanek all agreed that she had had a significant traumatic history since she was a child.
“No one wants to see her in prison,” Fredback said.
In making his recommendations to the judge about sentencing, Stanek discussed the efforts Morgan took to be admitted into a problem-solving court for mental health. However, Morgan did not meet the minimum criteria to be admitted to the program; therefore, a rider program was the only thing available to the court in which she could receive treatment for her mental health conditions.
“[She] has some significant issues that she needs to address,” Stanek told the court.
Brody agreed, adding, “I’m not sure the system has the right programs” for what Morgan needs. In going over a presentence investigation report in which Morgan discussed her personal history, Brody said it was a series of the worst childhood and life experiences that he had ever seen.
“You’ve been through an unbelievable amount. Given that, you’ve done pretty well,” Brody said.
Brody gave heartfelt encouragement to Morgan to succeed in the rider program and make the most out of the treatment programs offered to her.