Inmate's children feel brunt of penalty

BY GINNIE GRAHAM Published: February 20, 2011
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— Holding back tears, 9-year-old Koby whispers words like “mad” and “sad” when talking about his imprisoned mother.


His mom, Patricia Spottedcrow, 25, is serving 10 years for $31 in marijuana sales to a police informant. Her mother, Delita Starr, is free on a 30-year suspended sentence.

Koby was in his grandmother's home during one of the transactions, helping make change with dollar bills from his “Christmas jar,” records state. He remembers the police raid.

“It was scary because I was asleep and there was a guy standing in the room,” he said. “They pointed guns everywhere. I went to the room with my mama and sisters. After that, I had to go to school.”

Koby was born when his mother was a teenager. He has three sisters, ages 1 to 4, from his mother's eight-year relationship with a common-law husband.

It was a surprise when the judge ordered his mom imprisoned and she didn't return home one day while he was in school, he said.

“It was real sudden. My grandma told me. It was sad. My mama called me the next day … she was crying, and so was I.”

Koby is already thinking about a party and having time with his mom when she returns home.

He sheds a tear remembering what he misses most. “I used to go in her room and get to lay down with her,” he said, pausing. “I can't see her no more.”

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