Woman sentenced on 13 charges

WINCHESTER – A woman was sentenced to 43 years in prison, with all but four suspended, after pleading guilty to a list of charges in Frederick County Circuit Court on Friday.

Caitlin Elaine Shoemaker, 30, pleaded guilty to eight charges and entered Alford pleas on two charges. An Alford plea allows the defendant to maintain innocence while acknowledging enough evidence exists to persuade a judge or jury to convict.

The court also addressed three charges that had been transferred from other jurisdictions: two heroin-related charges from Winchester and a credit card number theft charge from Warren County.

Presiding Judge Alexander Iden first asked if there were any objections to a possible conflict in his sentencing. He had served as Commonwealth’s Attorney in Winchester while two of Shoemaker’s charges were being heard in Winchester General District Court. Those charges came before a grand jury in Winchester Circuit Court and then transferred to Frederick Circuit Court. No one in the courtroom voiced any objections.

Iden told Shoemaker that the maximum penalty for her combined charges was 280 years. He sentenced her to 43 years with all but four suspended and three years of supervised probation followed by two years of unsupervised probation.

Shoemaker apologized for her actions and told the court she has faced an “active addiction.” She said she’s taken part in programs while at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and is learning more about addiction there.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Robbins described five incidents spanning from December 2014 to November 2015 that led to Shoemaker’s charges.

In one incident, he said law enforcement had set up a controlled buy on Dec. 9, 2014, to purchase Percoset from Shoemaker while she was in her car. At the time of the buy, Shoemaker agreed to sell an additional packet of heroin. He said Shoemaker’s husband, Melvin Shoemaker, was also in the car and also participated in the deal.

Melvin Shoemaker is scheduled to appear in Frederick County Circuit Court on July 28 on charges of conspiring to sell heroin, distributing heroin and conspiring to sell hydrocodone/acetaminophen.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com