Rule No. 1 — don't call police when you have a meth lab in your home.
Breaking that rule put three people before Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Robert Johnston III Thursday, sending two to prison while the third was released on probation.
It started Nov. 24 at 3434-A Marathon Drive, when Amber Lee Gamotis, 32, had a fight with her boyfriend, 47-year-old John R. Devonshire Jr., Assistant District Attorney Michael Craig said. Devonshire had bitten Gamotis' hand, and she called police to report the attack.
When police arrived, Gamotis knocked on Devonshire's bedroom door. He opened it and admitted to biting his then-girlfriend.
As they walked from the rear of the home to its front, officers noticed William A. Chadwick's room was filled with what looked like materials to make methamphetamine. Then Devonshire asked a question as he was being handcuffed.
" 'Do you mind if I pour this out?' " Craig said Devonshire asked police.
What Craig said Devonshire wanted to dispose of was two grams of meth.
An officer with training in meth labs was then called to the home, finding ingredients for meth in Chadwick's room and the kitchen, Craig said.
Devonshire and Gamotis were arrested that day, and Chadwick was picked up some days afterward. All three appeared in Johnston's courtroom Thursday in jail clothes.
Chadwick, 30, pleaded guilty to trafficking in methamphetamine and an unrelated burglary charge. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five on probation.
His attorney, Julia Slater, said this was the first case she's seen where a defendant is charged with trafficking when he didn't have enough drugs for the charge to stick. Because the ingredients could have made an amount of meth that would have equaled trafficking, a recently-passed law allows the charge.
"We felt like it was in his best interest to admit to the allegations and accept the sentence," Slater said.
Devonshire pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine and battery with substantial visible bodily harm. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by two on probation.
Gamotis pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. She was sentenced to time served and 10 years' probation.
"I feel satisfied that we were able to reach a just resolution in the case," Craig said.