Prosecutors are moving to impose the remaining six years of Michelle Staton's prison sentence after she reportedly was arrested on drug charges last month.
Michelle Staton, 40, was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after pleading guilty in a negotiated plea deal on March 7, 2016, and is currently on parole. She was required to serve one-sixth of her sentence prior to being eligible for parole and was given credit for the 229 days she was incarcerated prior to pleading guilty.
As part of her plea deal, she also had a six-year suspended imposition of sentence against her. Because she allegedly violated Arkansas law, 20th Judicial District prosecutors are now asking a circuit judge to order her to serve those six years.
A motion to impose the suspended sentence in Staton's case was filed by chief deputy prosecuting attorney Hugh Finkelstein on March 29. Staton had posted bond on her newly-filed felony case but has since been picked up and is behind bars in the Faulkner County Detention Center.
Online records show that Staton was booked into the county jail just after 11 p.m. Friday. On Monday, District Judge Chris R. Carnahan ordered she remain behind bars without bond pending a hearing in circuit court.
The hearing will determine whether the motion to impose the six-year prison sentence will be dropped or that she be sent to the Arkansas Department of Corrections, he said.
Staton stood before Carnahan via video conference from Unit II. Distraught, she questioned why she was being detained when she'd already posted bond. However, Carnahan explained the cases were separate.
The now-40-year-old was charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, a class B felony, in connection to the July 2015 shooting deaths of her son’s legal guardians — Robert and Patricia Cogdell.
Staton’s hindering apprehension or prosecution charge stems from calling her father from the county jail and asking him to burn her son’s clothes that he was wearing the night he and three other teens killed the Cogdells.
Hindering apprehension or prosecution is punishable by five to 20 years in prison. It is at a judge’s discretion whether to sentence her up to the remainder of the maximum sentence after she reportedly violated the terms and conditions of parole.
Her son, Justin, was 14 years old at the time he and three other teens shot and killed his grandparents, who were both 66.
Justin, Anastasia Roberts, Connor Atchley and Hunter Drexler each are in prison after pleading guilty in the Cogdells’ shooting deaths.
Justin was sentenced to 35 years in prison, Roberts was sentenced to 15 years, Atchley was sentenced to 25 years and Drexler was sentenced to 25 years.
Michelle is currently scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. April 15 in Faulkner County Circuit Court before Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson Jr. for a plea and arraignment hearing regarding the newly-filed case against her. A hearing regarding the status of her suspended sentence is also set for April 15.