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NEW CASTLE, Ky. – A Milton woman found in November unconscious in her still-running car, with two small children in the backseat, entered a not guilty plea in Henry County District Court.
Kathy J. Thornton, 44, was charged on Nov. 15 with driving under the influence and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment after Kentucky State Police responded to a report of a car in the middle of Pendleton Road with an unconscious driver.
At her arraignment on Jan. 3, Thornton pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the citation for Thornton’s Nov. 15 arrest, KSP Trooper Tim Moore responded to the scene and found Thornton “passed out behind the wheel.” In the car with her were her two young grandchildren, one of whom Moore convinced to open a door of the car.
“When I woke the driver, she was obviously under the influence of something,” Moore wrote on the citation, adding that Thornton had red, glassy eyes, her speech was slurred, and she was unsteady on her feet.
Moore reported Thornton admitted to taking hydrocodone earlier, and that she “had just been released from the hospital and was instructed not to drive.”
A subpoena in the file indicates that Henry County Attorney Virginia Harrod requested information regarding an emergency room visit on Nov. 15.
While being booked at the Carroll County Detention Center, Thornton allegedly admitted to having a controlled substance in her purse, according to a second arrest citation. CCDC officials found Thornton had vicodin, chlorspan and xanax in a pill bottle, none of which were prescribed to her, according to the case file.
The November 2010 charges, along with a charge of use of a controlled substance (hydrocodne) and failure to report the arrest to her parole officer, landed Thornton back in the hands of the KentuckyDepartment of Corrections, according to her case file in Trimble County.
In November, Thornton was on parole for another drug-related case stemming from a 2005 arrest in Trimble County.
Thornton was indicted in April 2005 by a Trimble County Grand Jury on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and first-degree possession of a controlled substance. The file indicates she entered a guilty plea on Aug. 30, 2005, but it did not indicate exactly what she pleaded to.
Later in 2005, she was released on shock probation, but that was revoked in 2008, after she pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by deception (cold checks) in Henry County. According to the Trimble County file, Thornton was sentenced to serve six months in jail with two years of conditional discharge.
Subsequent requests for shock probation were denied.
Thornton was paroled on the 2005 charges on July 28, 2010.
Thornton’s criminal history is even more extensive.
In 2002, Louisville Metro Police arrested Thornton on a tip that narcotics were being sold from her then-home on Earl Avenue. The arrest citation states that Thornton admitted to smoking crack half an hour before the officers’ arrival. An infant was in the home at the time.
On May 23, 2002, Thornton entered a guilty plea to third-degree possession of a controlled substance. As part of the plea, Thornton was sentenced to 180 days in jail with conditional discharge for two years. The charges for the use or possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a minor were dismissed.
She also has been cited for minor traffic offenses in Jefferson, Trimble, Henry and Carroll counties.
In Henry, Thornton faced the cold check charges in 2008, as well as charges of “theft by unlawful taking” in Trimble County. In 2009, she was charged with shoplifting in Oldham County.
Thornton will appear again in Henry County District Court on Feb. 14.
Banner editor Phyllis McLaughlin contributed to this report.