Prosecutors charge woman who left purse in jail trashcan


Used needles and methamphetamine discovered in a purse left in a trashcan at the Miller County jail have resulted in several felony charges for a 51-year-old Texarkana woman.

Misti Lynn Cranford, who also uses the name Misty Westmoreland, was arrested Oct. 6 on an outstanding warrant when she showed up for a pretrial hearing in the courtroom at the Miller County jail complex. Cranford was free on a $15,000 bond for delivery of methamphetamine at the time.

After Cranford was taken into custody for violation of a court order, another woman notified jail staff that Cranford had hidden her purse in a trashcan outside the jail complex before entering and passing through metal detectors in the courtroom where she was set for a pretrial hearing. Detention Center Corporal Tony Hanning checked the trashcan and realized it had been emptied into a dumpster, a probable cause affidavit states.

When the purse was still missing after a search of the jail’s dumpster, Hanning spoke with an inmate on trash duty. The inmate said he’d placed the purse behind the dumpster, thinking someone might come looking for it.

When Hanning picked up the purse, he was scratched by a sharp metal point sticking through the purse. Inside the purse, investigators discovered three used syringes, a knitting needle, a spoon, a pair of scissors, an L & M cigarette package containing a single broken cigarette, a make-up mirror and a silver cylinder. Inside the cylindrical container, investigators found a baggy of meth and a single pill stamped with E 63.

A field kit test was positive for methamphetamine. An internet search for the pill identified it as Clonazepam, a prescription drug in the same family as Valium.

Cranford has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and with bringing prohibited items onto the jail complex grounds. Because she has more than four prior felony convictions, Prosecuting Attorney David Cotton included enhancements to the punishments Cranford could receive if convicted of the new charges.

Furnishing prohibited articles into a detention center usually carries the possibility of three to 10 years in prison but because of her criminal history, Cranford faces three to 30 years. Possession of methamphetamine under two grams and possession of drug paraphernalia both are punishable by up to six years in prison but Cranford’s past makes her eligible to receive as many as 15 years for each offense.

The methamphetamine delivery charge that brought Cranford to the jail complex Oct. 6 for a court hearing is punishable by four to 10 years in prison. Cranford is scheduled to return to court next month for a hearing to address all four pending cases before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones.

Previous articleGovernor Abbott Activates State Operations Center For Severe Weather
Next articleSchool bus carrying football team crashes on way to Dequeen