GAINSVILLE, GA — An innocent woman had several months of her life destroyed when she was arrested and charged with a felony because of a spaghetti-encrusted spoon found in her possession.
Ashley Gabrielle Huff, 23, had no criminal history and insisted that “there’s no way in hell” that there could have been any drugs in her possession during a traffic stop in July. Nonetheless, a Gainsville police officer honed in on a spoon that was “on her or near her” in the vehicle in which she was riding as a passenger.
Suspecting that the spoon had drug residue on it, the officer arrested Ms. Huff and charged her with possession of methamphetamines. Even for trace amounts, the charge is a third degree felony in Florida, which could have netted her as much as five years in one of Florida’s brutal and abusive state prisons.
After her July 2nd arrest, she spend an unconfirmed number of days in jail before she was released and required to attend a number of obligatory drug appointments. When she was unable to make all the appointments, she was rearrested and made to sit in jail from August 2nd until September 18th.
Ms. Huff insisted that she wasn’t a drug user, but had little means with which to defend herself. She relied on a public defender to represent her in court.
Finally in late September, a crime lab analysis revealed that the “residue” on the spoon was not an illegal drug. It was actually tomato sauce from a can of SpaghettiOs, as the woman had claimed all along.
“I think what the unfortunate part about her case is that she was probably willing to take the felony to close out her case so that she get out of jail, even though she always maintained innocence,” public defender Chris van Rossem told the Gainsville Times.
Once the crime lab failed to indicate any drug evidence, the county prosecutor dropped the charge against Ms. Huff. She spent at least 47 days in the Hall County Jail.
News story here.