Smith granted diversion program for the second time

At a continued sentence hearing on April 10, Karen Rose Smith was granted a second opportunity to go through the drug court diversion program. She successfully completed the program previously in 2015.

She has since relapsed and pleaded guilty to one count of being under the influence of a controlled substance, a category E felony, in a prior hearing. In an evaluation completed on Smith, findings were that she qualified to be granted the diversion program, pursuant to NRS chapter 458.

Public Defender Matthew Stermitz requested the diversion program for Smith, stating that she was honorably discharged from the program previously. “I think that intervention made all the difference in Ms. Smith’s life. Unfortunately she has since relapsed, again found herself unemployed and was picked up in a situation where she was in possession of some narcotics. Since her release she has been reporting to drug court. She has cleaned up and is back to work. She does have a daughter that is dependent on her,” said Stermitz.

I don’t know why we wouldn’t give her another chance, she has not victimized anybody as I can see,” said Stermitz.

In Smith’s statement to the judge, she mentioned some of the factors that contributed to the relapse, but has since gone back to work, has been clean since December, and asked for another chance to go through the drug court program.

“I think that the fact that you participated in the program back in 2015 and successfully completed the program is an indication that you would be a good candidate to possibly benefit from the program,” said Montero “My concern as a judge is, how many times is enough?”

“I guess I always have faith in the system that people will be given the tools in an 18 month program, but I also recognize the severity of the disease, it’s a difficult decision” said Montero

Montero decided to grant the diversion program to Smith, adding that it was with some reservation. He said the program has evolved, with some components that weren’t available in the program three years ago and that he was hopeful the program could benefit her.

Along with the drug court program, Smith was ordered to complete 36 months of probation. She is not allowed alcohol or controlled substances including marijuana, no inhalants, no over the counter medications unless approved by a licensed medical professional, no bars, liquor stores. She is not to enter any establishment where alcoholic beverages are the primary source of revenue, no smoke or vape shops or marijuana dispensaries. She was ordered to pay a $3 DNA collection fee, $25 administrative assessment, $60 forensic fee and a $250 public defender fee.

Smith will have an opportunity to avoid a felony conviction on her record if she successfully completes her probation and drug court program. “Ms. Smith good luck and I will see you in drug court on Monday,” said Montero.