Judge tells woman: ‘I’m not giving up on you’ during sentencing

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff

A 30-year-old Cornville woman who was arrested Oct. 25 after overdosing in front of her daughter was sentenced to two years in prison Monday at the Yavapai County Superior Court in Camp Verde.

Kaila Van Orden appeared in custody Monday. She was sentenced on multiple drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges after violating her probation.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the 5900 block of East Tee Time Court in Cornville and found paramedics already treating Van Orden for a possible heroin overdose in October.

Van Orden was initially found “passed out” in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with her 9-year-old daughter present, said YCSO spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn.

According to D’Evelyn, the daughter said Van Orden then fell asleep inside the car.

Paramedics were able to revive Van Orden when they arrived, according to YCSO.

During her sentencing, Van Orden said she struggles with drug addiction and is still fighting the battle.

“Every time I get down I get back up and fight,” she said.

She further explained that she had never even seen heroin until she was “pumped with opioids” after a surgery.

“Then it turned to heroin,” she said. “It was the only normal that I knew.”

She said overdosing in front of her daughter was “the biggest mistake of my life.”

Presiding Judge Michael Bluff said he remembered sentencing Van Orden to probation before, hoping she wouldn’t come back.

“No one thinks you’re a bad person,” he said. “Most of us have addiction … as a sentencing judge, we try to give people sentencing that addresses their addiction issues.”

Bluff said he didn’t think probation was going to work for her.

“I’m not giving up on you,” he said. “I just can’t put you on probation.”

Bluff also advised Van Orden to keep in touch with her daughter.

“It will make a world of difference,” he said.


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