Multiple cases tried in Northampton Circuit Court Monday

April 23, 2024
Northampton County Circuit Court

By Linda Cicoira

A 32-year-old Exmore woman admitted Monday in Northampton Circuit Court to selling crystal meth to an Eastern Shore Drug Task Force informant twice last year.

Amy Sue Duer Wood pleaded guilty to two of four charges of distribution of the drug. The other two charges were not prosecuted in a plea-bargaining agreement. The defendant also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor pre-trial violation because she tested positive for using methamphetamine and marijuana while on bond. Seven other violations were not prosecuted.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton, Wood sold 3.17 grams of meth to a confidential informant for $250 on Jan. 6, 2023. She sold 3.28 grams for $230 on April 5, 2023, the prosecutor said. The deals were set up via text messages. Screenshots of those messages were among the evidence.

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Retired Judge W. Revell Lewis III ordered a pre-sentence report. Wood was remanded to jail to await sentencing, which was set for July 1. The maximum term for the distribution of meth is 40 years in prison.

In another case, 29-year-old Jonathan Chase Melzer, an inmate at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail in Eastville, pleaded guilty to setting fire to his cell and destroying property there last October.

Prosecutor Thornton said Melzer used a cigarette lighter and a hair product to start the fire. The inmate told authorities he was trying to cook ink to make tattoos when the fire got away from him causing damage to a jail wall and other property.

The judge sentenced him to three years in prison with all but a year suspended for starting the fire. He was given 12 months with all but three months suspended for causing damage. The terms were set to run consecutively. He will be on probation for three years.

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In a third case, 22-year-old Jaya Ariel Devine, of Camden, N.J., requested a jury trial. She was charged with being an accessory to grand theft auto that happened on Aug. 30, 2023. A trial was set for Sept. 25.

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