Lufkin woman who exposed kids to meth back in custody, awaiting treatment

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

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 30-year-old Lufkin woman who accepted a two-year pre-trial diversion for exposing her two children to methamphetamine is now on probation because she failed to comply with the conditions of the diversion.

Taran Myrick Shanks is back in the Angelina County Jail on a judgment for a felony child endangerment charge. Katrina Carswell, an assistant prosecutor for Angelina County, said Shanks is back in custody because they are waiting for a spot to open up at a treatment facility.

Back in November, Shanks agreed to a two-year pre-trial diversion. Basically, the pre-trial diversion meant that if she had managed to stay out of trouble for the entire two-year period, she would not have been considered a convicted felon, and the charge would have been dropped from her criminal record.

"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," Carswell said in a previous East Texas News story. "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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