CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A woman found hiding in a clothes dryer by police this week was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for possessing materials used to make methamphetamine on Friday.
Charleston Police Cpl. Keith Peoples said he and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Seckman discovered Paula Gibson, 29, hiding in a front-load dryer in a trailer on Third Avenue North near St. Albans on Thursday. Authorities were looking for her because she missed her sentencing date on Dec. 29.
Peoples said an unidentified woman came out of the trailer, and shouted to Gibson that the police were there and that she needed come out. Police heard a noise inside the trailer and went inside to search, Peoples told Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom on Friday.
"There was a loud thumping noise, and we thought she had gone out a window," he said. When they looked, all the windows were still closed, and she wasn't in any of the closets or under any of the beds.
As they were leaving, Peoples opened the dryer, and found Gibson concealed inside among some clothes.
"Like you do your laundry with?" Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom asked.
"Yes, sir," Peoples answered.
Gibson told the judge that she hadn't been hiding from authorities, but she was staying with her aunt, who was taking care of three of Gibson's six children.
Court records indicate that Gibson pleaded guilty on Nov. 9 to possessing materials used to manufacture meth. In exchange, prosecutors dropped two other drug-related counts.
Defense attorney Tom Price said Friday that as part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend probation for Gibson if she passed drug tests while awaiting sentencing.
"And she didn't show up negative on a single one, did she?" Bloom asked.
"You are correct, Your Honor," Price said.
Price said that the vast majority of Gibson's criminal history was drug-related, and asked Bloom to consider an alternative sentence, such as drug court, so that she could get treatment for her addiction.