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Former Farmington teacher receives five years of probation
Anna Marie Schroth apologizes for actions during hearing
AZTEC — A former Farmington teacher will serve five years on probation after she pleaded guilty to five of the 13 charges she was facing as part of a plea agreement.
Anna Marie Schroth, 41, was sentenced by District Chief Judge Karen Townsend to seven years and six months in prison, but Townsend suspended the sentence for five years of probation during a hearing today in Aztec District Court.
Schroth entered an Alford plea, similar to a no-contest plea, on five charges in the three criminal cases during a Dec. 11 hearing.
Mark Curnutt, Schroth's attorney, said his client is happy the court adopted the sentencing recommendation from the prosecution.
"I believe she has truly learned from this experience and hopes this closure now allows her and her family to move forward," Curnutt said.
During the hearing, Schroth told Townsend she was sorry for the problems she had caused, and apologized to her children and her former students. She had been a teacher at Mesa View Middle School for about two and a half years.
Farmington Municipal School District officials placed Schroth on administrative leave following the first arrest on Aug. 9, and she later was discharged by the district.
Schroth told the court she hated the position she put school officials in by her actions.
"I'm trying to find my way in life," Schroth said during the hearing.
San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said one of the reasons the prosecution pursued the plea agreement was that the facts supporting the second-degree felony count of attempted murder were not that strong.
He added Schroth had already served more than 400 days in the San Juan County Adult Detention Center for the three criminal cases.
She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, promoting prostitution, criminal damage to property, aggravated battery against a household member and battery upon a peace officer.
For the prostitution and drug conviction, Schroth and Jordan Carter were arrested for prostituting a woman in Farmington and conspiring to sell methamphetamine.
She was arrested on the aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge for allegedly attacking her ex-husband with a bat.
A total of eight charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Those charges included attempted murder, aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and breaking and entering.
She was released on Dec. 22 following the Dec. 11 hearing.
Curnutt filed the motion to have Schroth released from the county jail to visit with her children during the holidays, according to the motion. The prosecution did not oppose the motion.
Townsend told Schroth at the end of the hearing that she hopes to never see her again in her courtroom, and Schroth agreed with her statement.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.