Orcas woman contests 5-year prison term

By Scott Rasmussen, Journal editor

An Orcas Island woman with extensive criminal history is contesting a five-year prison sentence handed down in the wake of recent convictions for felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

On April 24, Terry Ann Meloni, 50, posted a $10,000 bond in San Juan County Superior Court as collateral for fulfilling terms of the sentence, which was slated to begin April 30, while the court-ordered penalties are under appeal.

Meloni was convicted by a jury on March 27 of second-degree burglary, a Class B felony, and of third-degree possession of stolen property, a gross misdemeanor, and ordered to serve 60 months in prison and to pay $1,347 in fines and fees in a sentence handed down by Judge Don Eaton three weeks later.

The standard range of sentencing set by the state for the felony crime, given the extent of her criminal history, is 51-68 months in prison. She was credited with having served two days of the 60-month prison term.

Restitution has yet to be determined for the break-in and theft of three jackets that she was convicted of stealing from an Orcas Island couple.

According to court documents, Meloni has been convicted of more than two dozen criminal offenses in the last 20 years, including 10 separate felony drug or property crimes since 1999.

She previously had been granted a sentence under the state “drug offender sentencing alternative” for a prior conviction, and she is legally eligible to be granted a second such alternative. Those convicted of a felony drug offense are typically permitted to serve a portion, if not all, of court-ordered penalties in a residential treatment facility as part of a DOSA, rather than behind bars.

At the time of sentencing, Eaton, who, according to court documents, was troubled by the extent of Meloni’s criminal history, denied her request for an alternative sentence, according to court document. Her appeal will be reviewed by the state Court of Appeals.

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