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Angela Barkham is now a convicted felon, but she was given what her attorney called a “third chance” on Thursday, when a judge granted her probation in a case that stems from a prom party death of a teenager in 2009.
Barkham, 42, of Taylorsville Road in Louisville, is now convicted of reckless homicide and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
Originally, Barkham entered an Alford plea to reckless homicide and pleaded guilty to third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor in January 2012. She was sentenced to five years, which was to be diverted for five years as long as certain conditions were met.
However, Barkham failed to meet at least two of those conditions earlier this year by testing positive for marijuana and leaving the county without the permission of her probation and parole officer.
Because of those violations, the diversion was revoked and Barkham was sentenced by Judge Charles Hickman in Spencer Circuit Court on Thursday.
Donald “Donnie” C. DeJesus Jr.’s body was found Mother’s Day morning, May 10, 2009, lying in the back seat floorboard of a friend’s extended cab truck.
DeJesus had attended a prom party at Barkham’s residence the night before.
An investigation by the state medical examiner’s office revealed DeJesus had a blood alcohol level of .365 percent. His death was ruled accidental.
Between the diversion being voided in June and Thursday’s sentencing, Barkham also picked up two additional misdemeanor charges: Harassing communications and DUI.
Pointing out some corrections to Barkham’s pre-sentencing investigation, her attorney Richard Nash told the court on Thursday morning that Barkham suffered from physical as well as mental health issues.
She is on medication for depression and anxiety and suffered a “serious emotional, nervous breakdown” earlier this year, Nash said.
Nash said this was “a tragic case” and said his client had “real serious remorse” for her actions.
“More than one family was torn apart by Ms. Barkham’s actions,” Nash said, adding that Barkham’s family is in a “terrible state of disrepair.”
Nash pointed to a marriage that had fallen apart as well as two children who were suffering.
Nash requested that Barkham be granted supervised probation so that she can “get her balance back.”
“Give her a second or third chance, probably a third chance,” Nash said.
Hickman advised Barkham that the diversion program was an opportunity for her not to become a convicted felon. Now, she is a convicted felon.
“This is an opportunity not to serve it out in the Department of Corrections,” Hickman said. “Probation is a privilege, not a right.”
Hickman granted her probation and said that she is responsible for paying court costs and restitution. He set a deadline of Dec. 5 for Barkham to pay her court costs. If the costs are not paid by that date, she is to appear in court on that date.