Elvis impersonator gets second chance, avoids prison in drug case

A federal judge in Oklahoma City put an Elvis impersonator on probation because of evidence he has overcome his own pain pill addiction and helped others to get treatment.
BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: September 9, 2010 at 5:03 am •  Published: September 9, 2010

Authorities reported the undercover officer made three drug buys in March from Thrasher, twice inside the diner and once at a gas station. The buys totaled about $1,400, authorities said.

His restaurant was then known as Sid's Diner. His defense attorney said Thrasher distributed 33 oxycodone tablets and 10 Lortabs to the undercover officer who pretended to be his niece's girlfriend.

Thrasher told the judge he was not a dealer but rather he was in a circle of addicts who passed pills back and forth to keep each other going. He said he had prayed for a way to get off the pills.

"You just think you can't live without them," he said.

His daughter, Bailey Thrasher, 16, was fatally stabbed by a much older former boyfriend three years ago. A Yukon police officer and Canadian County deputy sheriff fatally shot the ex-boyfriend during the stabbing.

His defense attorney, Tony Lacy, told the judge in a sentencing memo that Thrasher already was taking OxyContin for pain before his daughter's death but then used the painkillers to keep numb.

Thrasher told the judge Wednesday he has tried not to use his daughter's murder as an excuse. But, he said, "It seems like it was yesterday."

He told the judge in written statements that since his arrest, five close friends also have quit taking pills.

Thrasher did his first show as Elvis in June 1998, after overcoming alcoholism, according to his attorney's memo to the judge. Thrasher told the judge in his written statements his short-term goals include expanding his Elvis show.

"I have the crippling addiction to pain pills behind me," he wrote. "I'm back in church and clear minded again."

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