People say punishment does not fit the crime - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

People say punishment does not fit the crime

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People in Raleigh County say they are shocked after a former Beckley evidence technician is sentenced to four years probation.

Gabriella Brown was sentenced in federal court on Monday, April 28. 59 News told viewers back in August there was an investigation into missing evidence from the Beckley police department's evidence locker. Brown pleaded guilty to taking prescription pills from the locker late last year.

One man said, "I just don't know how she went to federal court and got probation I really don't."

"I think it should have been harsher than that," said another. "The pill problem here is terrible."

Reports state that up to 200 pills were unaccounted for and last year and Brown admitted to taking a portion of those pills while working as an evidence locker technician.

Brown worked for the police department for several years and her father is Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge John Hutchinson.

"If somebody else would have stolen these pills they would have been locked up," said Beckley resident Billy Boyd.

In the opening statements of the sentencing hearing, the defense stated that the specific amount of pills that could be traced back to Brown could not be determined because "Beckley Police Department utilized poor policies and procedures."

In court Judge Faber said, the sentence is "somewhat light" in terms of what Brown has done. But Judge Faber said he believes she is "well on her way to rehabilitation" and believed "incarceration would interfere with that."