A Crittenden, Kentucky, mother, responsible for her daughter’s death after smuggling heroin to her in jail, was sentenced to close to 19-years in federal prison on Thursday.
CBS Crimesider reports that Kimberly Mullins, 44, was convicted of charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and morphine to an inmate, an inmate that happened to be her own daughter. Mullins admitted to sending heroin to her daughter, Jamie Green, 25, on a regular basis while Green was in jail.
Mullins also confessed that she bought a fentanyl and morphine mixture, under the impression that she was purchasing heroin. The lethal mixture was then smuggled in to Green.
On September 4, 2015, Green left the Campbell County Detention Center, where she was serving time on a probation violation, and transferred to the Kent County jail, into the women’s general population. Within a day of transferring, she became extremely ill after taking a fentanyl-morphine concoction. Shortly after, she was taken to St. Elizabeth Healthcare, where she passed away.
Mullins is among four people accused and convicted of smuggling the concoction into the jail. Michael T. Howard, 41; Lynette D. Ball, 39; and Lisa D. Lattimore, 35, were all charged with providing the drug that ultimately killed Green. On November 4, all four were indicted after an investigation revealed they were involved in helping Green get the lethal concoction.
Two of the three additional suspects, Ball and Lattimore, have already been convicted and sentenced for taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs to an inmate. Howard pleaded guilty earlier this year to selling drugs to Mullins, knowing that she could get the drugs to her daughter. He is awaiting sentencing.
While standing before U.S. District Court Judge Amul Thapar, Mullins broke down. She admitted she felt bad for everyone involved in the crime, but also acknowledged that nothing would bring her daughter back.
Kimberly Mullins admits she made an arrangement to get heroin to her daughter behind bars that resulted in her death pic.twitter.com/7WJBBbQxSo— Ashley Zilka (@ashleyzilka) March 30, 2016
“I’m sorry and I feel that everybody’s suffering in this situation. It’s not going to get my daughter back.”
Judge Thapar admitted that he himself struggled over the case, especially after Mullins provided a written statement to the court, asking to be treated as a human and not a number.
“I can’t lose sight that Ms. Green wanted also wanted to be treated as a person, not a number. I’ve never seen a drug penetrating in so deep. You have mothers and daughters sitting next to each other, using drugs.”
Mullins’ lawyer, David Fessler, indicated that his client was remorseful from the beginning. She told him she wished she could trade places with her daughter.
“She said, ‘Just get me out of Kenton County. I’m in a place where I caused my daughter to die.'”
Mullins also had the support of her son, Joseph Hopper, while she went through sentencing. Hopper, currently in a Kentucky prison, wrote a character letter on his mother’s behalf, asking the judge to understand how powerful a drug addiction can be.
“(She) is a human like all of us… a daughter, sister, friend, mother. Addiction comes in all shapes and forms. It doesn’t discriminate. I don’t (think) it’s right to justify one addiction over another. An addiction is an addiction no matter.”
Regardless, Mullins’ past run-ins with authorities and previous convictions were something that Thapar couldn’t overlook. In fact, Thapar noted that it was Mullins, who more than likely played the largest part in getting her daughter hooked on heroin in the first place, given the mother’s lengthy history of addiction problems.
“Not only did Ms. Mullins get her daughter heroin on multiple occasions, she used drugs with her (daughter.) Her daughter was never dealt a fair hand.”
Mullins lost custody of her daughter when Green was just an infant. They reconnected when Green was an adult, and that’s when Green’s heroin addiction started. During childhood, Green bounced between relatives’ homes. Her father overdosed when she was just an 11-year-old. Her aunt, Rachel Riffle O’Hara, took Green in a few times. Green would eventually call O’Hara “mom,” even though she longed to establish a relationship with her biological mother.
Green left behind two young children. While O’Hara took in one of the children, the other one is living with another relative, Candace Brewer. The probability of the children seeing their grandmother in prison isn’t likely. According to O’Hara, they all just want to move on.
“I’m just ready to close the door. It’s over.”
The Kentucky mom will spend the next 18.6 years in prison. She must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence before she’s eligible for parole.
[Photo by Campbell County Sheriff’s Office]