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Mitchell woman pleads guilty to possession of meth

A woman arrested in a July meth lab bust in Mitchell has agreed to cooperate with the state in prosecuting her co-defendants.

Susan Normile, 20, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. She entered her plea during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center.

Normile, Donald Kindt and Lindath Stone were arrested July 8 after a report of theft of electricity brought police to an apartment building at 814 N. Winsor. Normile and Kindt, 39, were living together in the apartment with a 1-year-old child.

Law enforcement was interviewing Normile and Kindt about an extension cord that ran from their apartment to an outdoor outlet. That's when officers saw saw evidence of a meth lab.

Stone, 38, was also in the apartment at the time, apparently staying there for a short time.

In exchange for Normile's guilty plea to possession, the state agreed to drop the unauthorized manufacture of a controlled substance charge.

Normile's attorney, Chris Nipe, requested Judge Tim Bjorkman grant Normile a furlough to attend inpatient addiction treatment at the New Start program in Sioux Falls.

"Susan is pregnant. It's a program for treatment of drug-addicted expectant and new mothers," Nipe said.

He added that Normile has been in jail for about 30 days and this is her first offense as an adult.

"Although initially when this was raised, I was skeptical of releasing you to New Start, but considering the circumstances, I'm going to allow you to go to the New Start program," Bjorkman said. "Not every person makes it there. You'll have an opportunity, though, and if there's any question you're using any kind of substance there, you'll be in custody for the rest of your pregnancy so your baby isn't harmed."

Bjorkman granted Normile a furlough to attend New Start, but warned her if she leaves the program for any reason, she is to report to the Davison County Jail to be in custody until she's sentenced. If she doesn't report, she could be charged with felony escape, Bjorkman said.

Bjorkman ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for October to allow her time to finish the New Start program.

Possession of a controlled substance carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Kindt also appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to all charges -- unauthorized manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

The manufacturing charge carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

His attorney, E. Steeves Smith, asked for a bond change from $2,000 cash to $2,000 cash surety so Kindt could work. Assistant Attorney General Doug Barnett asked the bond be left as is.

"The state views him as a serious danger to the community," he said. "The alleged facts being that he manufactured methamphetamine and in the presence of children."

Bjorkman denied the bond modification request and scheduled the case for a jury trial in October.