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Woman dealing since age 16

A 25-year-old Dublin woman told a Pulaski County judge Friday that she has been selling drugs since she was 16 years old and “that’s all I’ve ever known.”
Khaliyah Melissa Williamson, who was in Pulaski County Circuit Court for a probation revocation hearing, said she needs help to get out of the drug business. “I need somebody to show me something else.”
Williamson said she came to Virginia from New Jersey at a young age. She attended school in Pulaski County from sixth to ninth grade, then dropped out. She indicated she has lived on her own since she was 15 years old.
When her father, Arthur Shawn Austin, got out of prison, she said, she started visiting him.
“My dad sold drugs, so that’s all I’ve known,” she told Judge Robert Turk. She said she wants to go back to New Jersey because “I feel like if I stay here I’m going to keep getting in trouble.”
Williamson was convicted of three drug charges and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2006. At that time, she was ordered to serve 10 months in jail and 25 years and two months of her sentence was suspended under the condition she follow terms of her probation.
Upon leaving jail, she went into a diversion program that lasted about five months.
“The diversion program was a good program,” she said. “For months I wasn’t even thinking about doing anything.”
But then she started hanging around with the same people she was around when she got into trouble. She missed the money she had when she was selling drugs, so “I wanted to make back that kind of money.”
Six months after completing the diversion program, she was arrested on two drug possession (cocaine and marijuana) charges in Radford City. She’s now serving a sentence of two years and seven months on those charges.
It was those convictions that landed her back in court on probation revocation charges Friday.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor asked Williamson to identify the people who are getting her into trouble.
She declined to identify them.
Fleenor asked why she’s trying to protect them. He suggested it was because she needed to maintain her contacts for when she gets out of jail.
She said she isn’t trying to protect them, she doesn’t want to get them in trouble because “they didn’t make me do it.” She indicated she always admits what she has done, but she doesn’t involve other people.
“I just want to get away from Virginia, sir,” Williamson added.
Fleenor suggested Williamson wants to return to New Jersey because she keeps getting caught selling drugs here, but she didn’t get caught in New Jersey.
Williamson disagreed.
“In New Jersey it was just here and there to buy the stuff I needed. Here, it became a way of life,” she said.
Williamson acknowledged using Xanax and marijuana, to make her feel better. She said she has a pituitary gland tumor in her head and the drugs help her relax.
She noted that she sold cocaine, but never used it.
She said Xanax was the worst drug she used. “I ended up doing things I didn’t know I was doing,” she told the judge.
Fleenor acknowledged to Judge Turk that Williamson’s situation is a “sad case” in that she “learned from her father (selling drugs is) the way of life.”
However, he said nothing Williamson told the court indicates “she won’t do it again.”
Fleenor said it is up to the court to determine (through sentencing) how long it will be before she sells again.
“She’s a drug dealer. That’s what she does,” the prosecutor told Judge Turk. Having to serve time is “nothing more than the cost of doing business.”
Defense attorney Richard Davis Jr. said Williamson hasn’t told the court that wasn’t the truth. As a matter of fact, he said his client is so honest “she could get stopped walking down the street and (tell the police so much information she would) end up with felony charges.”
Davis said Williamson is still young enough “to learn the life her dad taught her is not the right way to go.” He said that while that doesn’t excuse her actions, maybe she can get a second chance because this is the first time she has been brought back to court on a probation revocation.
The defense attorney said he has assured Williamson the next time she comes back to the court she’ll be “going away for a long time.”
Judge Turk ordered Williamson to serve one and a half years of her suspended sentence, but he allowed it to run concurrently (at the same time) with her Radford sentence.
“It’s unfortunate your father raised you to deal drugs, but the diversion program was supposed to get you away from that life,” the judge told Williamson.
He reminded the woman that she still has “a lot of (suspended prison) time hanging over your head” that could keep her coming back to court long after he and Fleenor are gone if she chooses to continue a life of dealing drugs.

Woman dealing since age 16

A 25-year-old Dublin woman told a Pulaski County judge Friday that she has been selling drugs since she was 16 years old and “that’s all I’ve ever known.”
Khaliyah Melissa Williamson, who was in Pulaski County Circuit Court for a probation revocation hearing, said she needs help to get out of the drug business. “I need somebody to show me something else.”
Williamson said she came to Virginia from New Jersey at a young age. She attended school in Pulaski County from sixth to ninth grade, then dropped out. She indicated she has lived on her own since she was 15 years old.
When her father, Arthur Shawn Austin, got out of prison, she said, she started visiting him.
“My dad sold drugs, so that’s all I’ve known,” she told Judge Robert Turk. She said she wants to go back to New Jersey because “I feel like if I stay here I’m going to keep getting in trouble.”
Williamson was convicted of three drug charges and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2006. At that time, she was ordered to serve 10 months in jail and 25 years and two months of her sentence was suspended under the condition she follow terms of her probation.
Upon leaving jail, she went into a diversion program that lasted about five months.
“The diversion program was a good program,” she said. “For months I wasn’t even thinking about doing anything.”
But then she started hanging around with the same people she was around when she got into trouble. She missed the money she had when she was selling drugs, so “I wanted to make back that kind of money.”
Six months after completing the diversion program, she was arrested on two drug possession (cocaine and marijuana) charges in Radford City. She’s now serving a sentence of two years and seven months on those charges.
It was those convictions that landed her back in court on probation revocation charges Friday.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor asked Williamson to identify the people who are getting her into trouble.
She declined to identify them.
Fleenor asked why she’s trying to protect them. He suggested it was because she needed to maintain her contacts for when she gets out of jail.
She said she isn’t trying to protect them, she doesn’t want to get them in trouble because “they didn’t make me do it.” She indicated she always admits what she has done, but she doesn’t involve other people.
“I just want to get away from Virginia, sir,” Williamson added.
Fleenor suggested Williamson wants to return to New Jersey because she keeps getting caught selling drugs here, but she didn’t get caught in New Jersey.
Williamson disagreed.
“In New Jersey it was just here and there to buy the stuff I needed. Here, it became a way of life,” she said.
Williamson acknowledged using Xanax and marijuana, to make her feel better. She said she has a pituitary gland tumor in her head and the drugs help her relax.
She noted that she sold cocaine, but never used it.
She said Xanax was the worst drug she used. “I ended up doing things I didn’t know I was doing,” she told the judge.
Fleenor acknowledged to Judge Turk that Williamson’s situation is a “sad case” in that she “learned from her father (selling drugs is) the way of life.”
However, he said nothing Williamson told the court indicates “she won’t do it again.”
Fleenor said it is up to the court to determine (through sentencing) how long it will be before she sells again.
“She’s a drug dealer. That’s what she does,” the prosecutor told Judge Turk. Having to serve time is “nothing more than the cost of doing business.”
Defense attorney Richard Davis Jr. said Williamson hasn’t told the court that wasn’t the truth. As a matter of fact, he said his client is so honest “she could get stopped walking down the street and (tell the police so much information she would) end up with felony charges.”
Davis said Williamson is still young enough “to learn the life her dad taught her is not the right way to go.” He said that while that doesn’t excuse her actions, maybe she can get a second chance because this is the first time she has been brought back to court on a probation revocation.
The defense attorney said he has assured Williamson the next time she comes back to the court she’ll be “going away for a long time.”
Judge Turk ordered Williamson to serve one and a half years of her suspended sentence, but he allowed it to run concurrently (at the same time) with her Radford sentence.
“It’s unfortunate your father raised you to deal drugs, but the diversion program was supposed to get you away from that life,” the judge told Williamson.
He reminded the woman that she still has “a lot of (suspended prison) time hanging over your head” that could keep her coming back to court long after he and Fleenor are gone if she chooses to continue a life of dealing drugs.