New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | January 27, 2023

Female defendants agree to plea deals in NK court

By Alan Chamberlain | January 30, 2008 11:55 am

Two women, one charged with stealing cash from her employer and the other accused of obtaining powerful painkillers with forged prescriptions, have entered into plea agreements in New Kent Circuit Court.

Mindy Beth Chenault, 23, of 5171 Morgan Ford Road in Ridgeway, Va., was indicted in November on one count of grand larceny in connection with $740 taken on Aug. 12 from Rick’s Local Deli where she worked. As part of a plea deal, the charge was reduced to misdemeanor petty larceny

Chenault pleaded guilty to the lower charge on Jan. 14. She received a sentence of 12 months in jail, all suspended for the next three years, and must successfully complete a drug rehabilitation program. Before trial, the money taken from the store had been paid back.

In summarizing evidence in the case, prosecutor Linwood Gregory said Chenault and a juvenile girl entered the deli on the evening of Aug. 12. While the juvenile distracted the clerk on duty, Chenault walked behind a counter and snatched a cash bag. The money was then used to buy crack cocaine, Gregory told the court.

Chenault was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in lower court and spent five days in jail on that conviction, Gregory said.

In the other plea agreement case on Jan. 14, Katherine Dowdy Childress, 40, of 5207 Swift Hill Lane in Sandston, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of obtaining painkillers using forged prescriptions. As part of the plea deal, six charges were dropped including five similar felony counts and one count of attempting to obtain drugs using a forged prescription.

Gregory said the forged prescriptions were filled between May 6 and July 11 at the Eckerd pharmacy in Quinton. On July 13, pharmacy employees notified authorities after a prescription for the painkiller LorTab was dropped off.

Authorities were told a number of prescriptions for painkillers, including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Diazepam, had been filled in recent weeks for Childress, Gregory said, but a check with the doctor who supposedly wrote the prescriptions revealed they were forgeries. A New Kent deputy was waiting to question Childress when she returned to pick up the prescription.

Gregory said the prescriptions originated from the Virginia Cardiology Associates office where Childress worked as a nurse.

Defense attorney Steven K. Webb told the court his client did not use the drugs. Instead, the painkillers were passed on to Childress’ fiancé who had suffered a severe back injury, Webb said.

“What’s he doing now that he’s been cut off at the source?” Judge Thomas B. Hoover asked.

Webb replied that the fiancé has since had surgery and is “doing better.”

A tearful Childress apologized for her actions. She said she has lost her nurse’s license in the aftermath of the crimes.

Following terms of the plea deal, Hoover sentenced Childress to five years in prison on each of the four charges, suspending all but 45 days for the next 20 years.