Avenging Mom Gets Off With Probation

     HILLSBORO, Mo. (CN) – A mother who whacked her son’s alleged heroin dealer with a baseball bat was sentenced to two years of probation by a Missouri state judge.
     Sherri Gavan, 54, of Imperial, Mo., was found guilty of third-degree misdemeanor assault in April for the December 2011 attack. She faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
     Jefferson County Judge Timothy Miller delivered a stern rebuke to Gavan about vigilante justice.
     “In a vigilante system, there is no justice, only vengeance,” Miller said at her sentencing.
     But Judge Miller gave her a light sentence. The probation comes with a suspended sentence, so if Gavan completes probation her record will be wiped clean. Miller said he did not view Gavan as a threat to the community and that her background indicated she was an asset to the community.
     Gavan never disputed during trial that she hit Joshua Lloyd in the arm with a bat. She said she was trying to protect her son, Clayton, 19, from heroin with whatever means she could. Gavan said she grabbed the bat after Lloyd pulled an unidentified object out of his car and approached her.
     Lloyd told the jury during trial that he was on heroin that day, didn’t remember the attack and didn’t seek medical attention. Despite that testimony, Lloyd and his mother asked Judge Miller to impose the maximum sentence.
     In victim impact statements, Lloyd claimed he wasn’t a drug dealer and that Gavan’s accusations that he was her son’s drug dealer damaged his reputation. His mother said Gavan owes her son an apology.
     Clayton Gavan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he’s been clean for a year and a half and plans to study marine biology. He said watching his mother’s legal battle helped him stay off drugs.
     Joshua Lloyd recently pleaded guilty to drug possession and theft charges in St. Louis and Jefferson counties.
     His mother told Judge Miller that he is taking GED classes twice a week.

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