EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Sentencing Tuesday for a Eugene woman convicted in a string of Bi-Mart pharmacy robberies in Lane County during September and October of 2011, all to support a drug habit.
Lane County Circuit Court sentenced 35-year old Alanna Crabaugh to 70 months, or 5 years and 10 months, in an Oregon state prison for her role in six different pharmaceutical robberies at Bi-Mart stores in Eugene and Junction City. Each time Crabaugh robbed the pharmacies, she demanded oxycontin and oxycodone, a drug that she became addicted to through a medical prescription.
The sentence is what prosecutors asked for and in accordance to what Oregon's Measure 11 calls for for a single count of Robbery 2.
Crabaugh was facing a total of 6 counts of robbery total, 2 charges of robbery in the second degree and 4 counts of robbery in the third degree. Judge Mustafa Kasubhai handed down the sentence, ruling that all of Crabaugh's sentences for the counts run concurrent, or at the same time. In all, Crabaugh could have faced a maximum of 240 months of prison time.
The robberies began on September 1st, 2011, when Crabaugh robbed the West 18th Avenue Bi-Mart in Eugene. There, Crabaugh held a newspaper and wrote a note, telling the clerk she had a gun.
Five more Bi-Mart robberies followed. The second and third on September 7th and 8th, 2011 at the West 18th Avenue location. On September 20th, 2011, Crabaugh robbed the Royal Avenue location in Eugene. On September 28th, 2011, Crabaugh robbed the Junction City Bi-Mart. Finally, Crabaugh was caught on October 11th, 2011, shortly after she robbed the Bi-Mary on West 18th once again.
Eugene Police detectives eventually caught Crabaugh after putting a tracking device in one of the stolen prescription bottles, knowing that Crabaugh was likely to repeat the robbery in the future. Crabaugh was arrested just hours after the last robbery on October 11th, 2011.
In all of the robberies, Crabaugh said she either had a gun, or that someone was in the store with a gun and would hurt others if she didn't get the drugs. Each time, Crabaugh robbed the clerks at the walk up pharmacy window.
According to the defense, Crabaugh's robberies were fueled by her addiction to oxycontin and oxycodone and a fear of life without the drug.
Crabaugh's attorney, Terri Wood argued in the sentencing hearing on Tuesday that Crabaugh became hooked on the drugs due to medical malpractice. According to Wood, Crabaugh sought a doctor in 2010 for chronic knee pain after seeking physical therapy that did not work. The Eugene doctor prescribed Crabaugh oxycontin and oxycodone to deal with the pain.
Once Crabaugh's prescriptions ran out, she resorted to theft to get the drug, according to Crabaugh's defense.
Crabaugh's defense brought in a medical expert, Dr. Robert Julien, a former anesthesiologist and specialist in psycho-pharmacology , to testify to the addiction Crabaugh developed. Dr. Julien reviewed medical records and other information in the case to make his determinations.
According to Dr. Julien, Crabaugh was prescribed too high of doses oxycontin and oxycodone by her doctors. Doctors also refilled her prescriptions early on more than one occasion, even giving her three month supplies of the drugs twice. Dr. Julien testified it was “inappropriate treatment.” Crabaugh received all of her prescriptions through the same doctor and physician's assistant at a single Eugene doctor's office.
The defense argued that Crabaugh's judgement was clouded by the drugs, causing her to make decisions that were out of character. Prior to her arrest for robbery, Crabaugh had a clean record. The defense argued that Crabaugh never would have committed the crimes had doctors done their jobs correctly and that she did not know how the drugs were effecting her.
Testifying in court on Tuesday, in tears, Crabaugh said in the midst of addiction she felt like she was "drowning." According to Crabaugh, when she had oxycontin and oxycodone, she felt as if she was "barely keeping her head above water."
Crabaugh thanked Eugene Police for being kind to her through the arrest and trial process of the case. During her statement to the court, Crabaugh said the arrest paved a way for her recovery. She has since been to rehab and is now 5 and a half months sober. Crabaugh is also continuing in recovery with a two year post-rehabilitation program. She spoke in court on Tuesday, showing remorse for her crimes. Friends and family members also testified on her behalf, saying jail time would not be beneficial in her life and recovery.
Prosecutors attempted to get the Judge to forgo convicting Crabaugh under the mandatory minimums of Measure 11 due to the circumstances of the crime.
The arguments did not fly. Prosecuting attorney with the Lane County District Attorney's office, Deputy District Attorney Chris Perosa argued that Crabaugh showed clear intent and planning in taking part in the crimes. Perosa says the sentence is accurate under Measure 11 guidelines.
“I think this was a situation where there was six robberies, all of which included the representation that Ms. Crabaugh had a gun, and as a result I think 70 months in the Department of Corrections was the appropriate sentence,” said Perosa.
Craubaugh was taken into custody following the sentencing. Her defense attorney, Terri Wood, declined to comment after the trial. It's unknown if Crabaugh will try to appeal the sentence.
After her prison sentence, Crabaugh will serve two years post prison supervision. She'll also be required to pay more than 3,000 dollars in restitution to Bi-Mart for the stolen drugs.