Easterday pleads guilty to substance charge
SLAYTON -- Robin Hope Easterday, 24, of Fulda, pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Murray County District Court to a fifth-degree controlled substance charge stemming from a marijuana grow operation investigation. Per the plea agreement, a second fifth-degree controlled substance charge was dropped, along with a drug paraphernalia charge.
Easterday, one of several people arrested as part of the investigation, appeared in court in the bright orange jumpsuit uniform of the Nobles County Jail, having been arrested for other drug charges since bonding out after her arrest in September.
She told Judge David Christensen she was arrested for being in possession of some marijuana plants, which had been brought to her residence by an acquaintance and left there for several days. She described the plants as "knee-high or a little bit over" but said some were also smaller. She claimed she was not in her home when the plants were brought over, but did allow them to stay there.
Defense attorney Louis Kuchera asked the judge to reduce the $150,000 bail amount set in Easterday's other pending case in which she is charged with fourth- and fifth-degree controlled substance crimes and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In the second case, a man Easterday had been doing drugs with all day in late February died of unknown causes. Easterday allegedly admitted to authorities she had provided and mixed the methamphetamine they had injected before Jeremy Darville's death.
Kuchera asked that the bail be lifted or reduced, so Easterday could attend an inpatient treatment program. Originally, he said, he was told by Murray County Attorney Paul Malone the results of Darville's autopsy would be available within two weeks of the incident, but it has already been three.
Malone reported he has now been told it could take six weeks more before the results are available.
He asked the judge to keep the bail amount in place, reminding Christensen that Easterday had been out on bail on the first case when the second arrest occurred. At the time she was released on bail, conditions of release included no alcohol or substance use or possession.
Christensen reduced the bail amount to $25,000 with several conditions attached. He said she must report to inpatient treatment within four hours of her release and must complete treatment. If she leaves before treatment is complete, she must return to jail. Christensen said Easterday must also abstain from drugs and alcohol and remain in the state.
Sentencing for the controlled substance charge is to be determined by the judge after a pre-sentence investigation. A tentative date was set for April 14.