Lufkin woman receives 2-year pre-trial diversion for exposing her kids to meth

Taran Shanks (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Taran Shanks (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman received what amounts to two years of probation through a pre-trial diversion in an Angelina County district court Friday for exposing her two kids to methamphetamine.

As a result of the pre-trial diversion agreement, Taran Myrick Shanks, 29, will not be considered a convicted felon at the end of the two-year period if she stays out of trouble. However, if she violates the conditions of her probation, it could result her being prosecuted for the felony child endangerment charge.

"This case was initiated by CPS and involved allegations of drug use around children.  Based on their own investigation, the children tested positive and were removed from the home for safety reasons," said Katrina Carswell, an assistant prosecutor for Angelina County. "From a criminal standpoint, however, the current state of the law does not allow us to prosecute individuals in this scenario without involving a certified lab to conduct the hair analysis. Unfortunately, the results gained by CPS are not admissible in court."

Carswell said the Angelina County District attorney's office offered the pre-trial disposition to Shanks to hold her accountable for her actions and require her to receive help for the drug activity.

"In accepting the offer, we hope Ms. Shanks takes full advantage of the opportunity," Carswell said.

Shanks was arrested in late October after her children tested positive for meth.

On Sept. 19, Child Protective Services received a report of possible neglectful supervision of children and possible use of narcotics by their mother, Shanks. Hair samples were taken from both kids, ages 1 and 4, and both children tested positive for the presence of meth.

According to the arrest affidavit, Shanks agreed to a CPS worker's request for an instant swab test, which tested positive for meth. The affidavit also said that Shanks refused to cooperate any further with CPS and chose not to do a follow-up drug test.

Both children were removed by CPS and placed in the custody of family members.

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