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Elderly Woman Guilty Of Pot Charge Only Three Months After Prison Release

April 9, 1985

CARNESVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ An 84-year-old woman who was released three months ago after 11 months in prison for selling marijuana has been convicted again of possessing pot she says she had to sell to buy firewood.

Mabel Cawthorn was sentenced Monday to five years’ probation by Superior Court Judge George Bryant, who dismissed a second possession count against the woman, said public defender Floyd Keeble.

Mrs. Cawthorn pleaded guilty Monday to the charge and said she sold the marijuana - $10 worth each time - ″because I needed to buy me some wood for my fire.″

After her sentencing, Mrs. Cawthorn kissed Keeble and hugged Franklin County Sheriff Joe Foster, whose deputies have arrested her twice. She was on probation from a 1983 conviction of selling marijuana when she was arrested again in February 1984 and charged with possession.

Bryant revoked her probation and ordered her to the Women’s Correctional Institution in Milledgeville, where she spent 11 months.

Mrs. Cawthorn pleaded innocent to the first charges against her, but said Monday she changed her mind this time.

″I sold the marijuana, but I didn’t sell it to no GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation). I sold it to that old boy and he isn’t a GBI man,″ she said of one of the officers.

Keeble said he advised Mrs. Cawthorn to plead guilty this time, hoping Bryant would give her probation.

″I’m glad she’s not going to be sent back,″ he said. ″I think she understands that the court won’t tolerate violations of the law no matter how old she is.″