A young couple whose toddler tested positively for methamphetamine is getting a second chance.
Last week Joshua Boss Cupples, 23, and Alisha Marie Cupples, 22, were both sentenced to 10-year terms of probation for exposing a child to a chemical substance, methamphetamine in plea agreements before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones.
Conditions of the Cupples’ probations include spending 60 days behind bars and successful completion of Miller County’s drug court program.
The Cupples were living in a 14 foot by 7 foot camper trailer in Garland City, Ark., in May when child welfare officials placed their two children in state custody. The couple’s daughter, born in December 2013, tested positively for meth. The daughter and a son, born in January, were placed in foster care.
Joshua and Alisha Cupples were arrested July 30.
In separate hearings before Jones Sept. 29, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cotton announced that the state had agreed to plea bargains to the lesser offense of exposing a child to a chemical substance for Joshua and Alisha Cupples. Each was initially charged with introduction of a controlled substance into the body of another, a Class Y felony in Arkansas.
Individuals convicted of a Class Y felony are ineligible for probation and drug court. By reducing the charges, Alisha and Joshua Cupples are able to receive sentences that permit their participation in rehabilitative programs rather than time in prison.
Drug court is an intensive program that includes frequent court appearances, drug testing and treatment which has a higher rate of success for drug offenders than standard probation or incarceration. If the couple remains drug free, gains employment and complies with court orders, they may regain custody of their children.