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Woman who lost son faces charges

A Michigan woman who was in the headlines last summer after the murder of her son is in the news again, this time facing drug charges.

The 21-year-old woman, from Mt. Pleasant, was arraigned on three felony drug charges: possessing less than 50 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver, possessing less than 50 grams of heroin and possessing marijuana. Combined, the crimes are punishable to up to 84 years in prison and fines of more than $150,000.

She was taken to Emmet County Jail in lieu of $75,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 31.

The drug arrests again put the spotlight on the young woman, who received the community's support last June after her son disappeared. Police with search dogs, pilots and volunteers worked for more than a week to try to find the 4-year-old. They searched yards, woods, ponds, homes and fields until the boy's body turned up.

His burned and dismembered remains were located under the home he shared with his mother and her live-in boyfriend.

The community turned on the mother after it became public knowledge that she knew that her boyfriend was responsible for continued beatings of the preschooler. Authorities have not charged her in connection with any abuse of the boy or his death.

Her boyfriend, by contrast, is in federal custody, facing charges relating to the boy's gruesome death and prior abuse. He is scheduled to go to trial in April on a variety of charges, including first-degree murder, assault of a child and felonious assault.

While public favor has turned against the young woman, that is not grounds for her to be judged automatically guilty in the criminal case. She has the right to a trial as well as to mount a defense to the crimes of which she is charged.

Source: Advisor & Source, "Jaimee Chamberlain, mom of Carnel, jailed on drug charges," Rick Mills, Dec. 23, 2012

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