A former pharmacist pleaded guilty to drug-related charges and was given a suspended sentence in Beaufort County Superior Court this morning.
Heather Tetterton faced three counts of embezzlement of a controlled substance by an employee, and two counts of possession with intent to deliver a schedule three controlled substance.
In a plea deal worked out with the state, Tetterton pleaded guilty to all five counts, in exchange for other charges against her being dropped.
The 40-year-old Tetterton is a former pharmacist with Tayloe's Hospital Pharmacy in Washington. She was accused of stealing prescription pain pills and testosterone while employed at the pharmacy.
Her attorneys asked the judge to be lenient in sentencing her, citing no previous criminal record. Although she initially denied to investigators that she stole the pain pills, her attorneys say she has since cooperated. They say she surrendered her pharmacist license.
Prosecutors say Tetterton admitted stealing the testosterone for her boyfriend, who was not named.
Her attorneys said her problems stemmed from a severe alcohol addiction, and since her arrest in September 2010, Tetterton had been through alcohol counseling, rehab, and is currently living in a halfway house in Wilmington.
"I regret so much of the past." Tetterton said in court Tuesday, adding she is sorry for "putting my parents and children through what I put them through." Her parents were in court, and her mother also spoke briefly on her behalf.
Referring to her alcoholism, Tetterton said, "my disease caused me to do things I wouldn't normally do."
The judge gave the woman a suspended sentence, along with 50 hours of community service to be completed within a year, continued treatment on a regular basis for at least 18 months, no contact with a hospital pharmacy, and she must pay court costs.
Tetterton had faced a maximum of 75 months in prison.