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Mo. woman guilty in attack on alleged heroin dealer

Mo. woman guilty in attack on alleged heroin dealer

April 24th, 2013 in News

HILLSBORO, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis-area woman convicted of misdemeanor assault says she has no regrets about attacking a man with a baseball bat because she believed he was selling heroin to her son.

Sherrie Gavan, 54, of Imperial, was found guilty of third-degree assault for striking the 22-year-old man in December 2011. Gavan, who faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, is scheduled to be sentenced June 4.

"I don't know what happens from here," Gavan said after the verdict. "I just know you can't protect your child anymore."

Joshua Loyd, who was not hurt in the attack, admitted during the trial that he supplied Gavan's son with heroin. He also testified that he couldn't remember if he was on heroin the day Gavan confronted him, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported ( ).

Gavan's lawyer, William Goldstein, said his client had acted out of love for her son.

"She did what any good mother would do," Goldstein said. "She went down there (to Joshua's house) for one purpose and for one purpose only: get Josh out of her life."

Gavan said in court Tuesday that she took desperate measures to help her son, Clayton, get clean. She slept next to him as he went through withdrawal and enrolled him in a new school to keep him away from a bad crowd.

But the jury decided she went too far when she struck Loyd with a baseball bat.

Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor Jacob Costello told the jury to focus on the law in deciding a verdict.

"This case is not about whether Mrs. Gavan is a good parent," he said. "You can't take matters into your own hands like that. . She made a choice to pull out the baseball bat."

Gavan said her son, now 19, has been clean for more than a year.

"My son is alive," she said. "That's all that matters."


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,