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An 11-year-old girl asked her mother to buy her crack cocaine after a friend's mother exposed her to the illegal drug 15 times in one day, a prosecutor said.
Parent Shannon Hatcher, 33, of Bailey Street in Smyrna exposed the girl to the highly addictive drug, said Assistant District Attorney Laural Nutt.
Hatcher entered a best interest plea Friday to two counts of casual exchange of crack cocaine by furnishing crack cocaine to her daughter and the 11-year-old girl.
She also entered best interest pleas to three counts of attempted aggravated child abuse of the 11-year-old girl, her own daughter and another girl, reckless endangerment of the girls and theft.
The pleas are treated like guilty pleas by the court although the defendant doesn't admit guilt.
Nutt and defense attorney Ned Coleman worked out a plea agreement they presented Friday to Circuit Court Judge Don Ash. Under the agreement, Ash found Hatcher guilty and sentenced her to 20 years in jail. Hatcher will serve five years in jail before being released on probation for 15 years.
The prosecutor said Hatcher picked up five girls in March and drove them around while she completed different errands.
"She was smoking crack cocaine in the car with these children," Nutt said.
Hatcher's minor daughter owns her own crack cocaine pipe, the prosecutor said.
"They apparently enjoyed this activity as a mother-daughter event on a regular basis," Nutt said.
Hatcher passed the crack pipe to her daughter and suggested she smoke it and blow the smoke into her 11-year-old friend's mouth in a "shotgun" method, the prosecutor said.
"The daughter felt addicted and asked her mom to buy her some because she felt like she needed it," Nutt said.
Hatcher also signed documents posing as the girl's mother to allow her to get a tattoo, the prosecutor said.
Nutt told Ash the victim's mother, who was present in the courtroom, told her Friday another child recently threatened her daughter about the case. Nutt wanted Hatcher to know she could not contact the victim or have anyone else contact her under the plea agreement.
After the hearing, Nutt said the victim's mother met Hatcher before allowing her child to spend time with her because she wanted to make sure her daughter was safe. Hatcher, who is married to a former La Vergne Police officer, assured the mother her daughter was safe.
When Hatcher completes her five-year sentence, she must pay fines of more than $4,000, give a DNA sample, undergo a drug and alcohol assessment, complete parenting classes, submit to alcohol and drug screens, refrain from contacting the victim and staying away from children unless supervised by an adult.