A Butte woman convicted of stealing more than $27,000 from her 72-year-old mother when she was fighting cancer could have her suspended sentence revoked and be sent to prison for allegedly violating its terms.

“That’s definitely a possibility at this point,” Kelli Fivey, lead prosecutor in the case, said Wednesday.

Since receiving a 10-year suspended sentence in November, prosecutors and probation officials say Marissa Monet Curnow, now Marissa Hansen, 41, admitted in February to using methamphetamine and heroin.

She was also arrested on April 27 for possessing a controlled stimulant and syringes. Prosecutors have charged her with felony possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, though the new case has yet to reach District Court.

Authorities also say Hansen has made no effort to start paying $27,198 in restitution to her mother, a requirement of her suspended sentence.

Hansen appeared before District Judge Robert Whelan on Wednesday and denied violations of her suspend sentence. He set an Aug. 21 hearing to consider evidence of the violations and if he finds them valid, he could send her to the Montana Women’s Prison or to the Department of Corrections for placement elsewhere.

In November, District Judge Mike Salvagni called Hansen “despicable” for stealing more than $27,000 from her own mother. He rejected prosecutor’s recommendations for a six-year suspended sentence and gave her 10 years suspended instead.

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Salvagni said then that if her suspended sentence was revoked, “It’s not going to be six years in prison, it’s going to be 10 years in prison.”

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“She stole from her mother to feed her (drug) addiction and support her gambling addiction,” Salvagni said then to Hansen, whose mother was sitting in the courtroom. “There is absolutely no excuse for the defendant’s behavior.”

Hansen was supposed to be taking care of her mother, Salvagni said, but instead was stealing her money, depriving her of basic needs like food, and leaving the mortgage and other bills unpaid.

Hansen had pleaded guilty to exploitation of an elderly person, a felony in Montana that carries a possible 10-year prison term and $10,000 fine.

The mother told police in October 2017 that Hansen and her husband had power of attorney over her because she had been sick, according to prosecutors. Police learned later that she was a widow, had cancer, and was showing signs of dementia.

She said her daughter was using her debit card and, instead of paying her bills with the money, was using it all for herself. The daughter had drug and gambling problems, she said.

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Government and politics reporter

Mike Smith is a reporter at the Montana Standard with an emphasis on government and politics.

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