Woman who cost parents custody of their children headed to prison
OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) - The state of Alabama has no way to determine how many drug tests a woman falsified, per court testimony. However, several victims said Thursday that Brandy Murrah’s deceit cost them custody of their children.
That’s because she purposely reported incorrect drug test findings to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
“It’s hard when your children get snatched away from you,” Jennifer Severs told WTVY. She lost custody of her three children for several months after a forged lab report incorrectly showed she had used methamphetamine and marijuana.
Furious, Judy McGinnis, Jennifer’s mother, tracked down the doctor whose name appeared on that paperwork. That’s when she learned that he had not tested the hair follicle sample. Meanwhile, Jennifer submitted a second sample through another lab and it came back clean.
Her persistence led to an investigation that revealed Murrah crimes.
After collecting samples, she never forwarded them for testing. Instead, she created false results and submitted those to DHR, an agency that relied on her firm, A and J Labs, for correct analysis.
It is believed Murrah owed for previous tests and the labs that tested samples she collected may have no longer been willing to extend her credit.
In another case, a reformed addict was also wronged. On the verge of reuniting with her children, test results submitted by Murrah wrongly showed Grace Faulk had relapsed.
“This is a unique case— it touched a lot of people (and) it really ticks me off,” Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said after Circuit Judge William Filmore ordered Murrah to serve a 15-year sentence.
Adams vehemently argued that Murrah should not receive leniency.
Judge Filmore, despite Murrah’s apology, refused to place her on probation or in a work release program.
Her attorney, David Harrison, pointed out she could have received up to 99 years under Alabama’s sentencing guidelines.
“Significant is she accepted responsibility in this case,” he reacted.
Harrison had hoped Murrah would been placed on work release. During testimony, the president of a company that employed her after her arrest called her a “trusted employee.”
Two civil suits have been filed against Murrah, who had previously been convicted of several felonies, per Adams.
A DHR worker testified that the agency had been unable to verify the number of false tests submitted, though McGinnis believes that number could be in the thousands.
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