LIMA — A former Miss Kentucky’s tiara became tarnished Wednesday when she was sentenced to two years on probation for attempting to smuggle marijuana into the local correctional facility.
Prosecutors argued in favor of jail time for Kia Hampton, 28, of Louisville, but Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cheney said he was convinced the former beauty queen was remorseful for her actions and was unlikely to commit future crimes.
The Louisville woman faced a maximum of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine on a third-degree felony of the illegal conveyance of drugs onto the grounds of a specified governmental facility. In addition to the two-year probation term, Cheney sentenced Hampton to serve two days in the Allen County jail, and then granted her credit for two days previously served. Hampton was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500, serve 80 hours of community service and submit to random drug testing while on probation.
She was also ordered to have no contact with Jeremy Kelly, an inmate at the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institute in Lima who was described in court Wednesday as Hampton’s “ex-boyfriend.”
It was Kelly who directed Hampton to attempt to bring drugs into the prison, prosecutors said. She was successful on three occasions prior to being caught on May 26 of last year.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth Sturgill asked Cheney to impose a sentence that included incarceration.
“I want the court to send a message not only to Miss Hampton but to deter others from doing the same thing,” he said. “A sentence of simply community control would be demeaning to this offense.”
Hampton was indicted by a grand jury in July after attempting to smuggle drugs to Kelly, who is serving a four-year prison term on two drug trafficking charges out of Wood County. In February, she withdrew her earlier plea of guilty and pleaded no contest to the felony charge.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Hampton said her goal is to “get back up, dust myself off and grow the person I know I am. I just want a fresh start.” Quizzed by Cheney on how she became involved in a circle of criminal activity, Hampton simply answered, “Foolishness.”
Hampton was crowned Miss Kentucky USA in November of 2010 when she was 21 years old. She was the first African American chosen to represent Kentucky in the Miss USA pageant.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.