Misty Croslin receives concurrent 25-year sentence
The new sentences will be served at the same time as a drug trafficking sentence out of St. Johns County.
Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
Misty Croslin, the woman who was with 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings when the Putnam County girl was reported missing two years ago, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on seven drug-trafficking charges.
Circuit Judge Terry LaRue sentenced Croslin, 19, to terms adding up to 89 years in prison, but the seven sentences will be served at the same time, for a total of 25 years in prison. The sentences also will be served concurrently with a 25-year drug-trafficking sentence out of St. Johns County. She also faces $2 million in fines.
"Just be fair, that's all," Croslin said to LaRue in a terse statement before he handed down the punishment. "I'm not a drug dealer. I just got caught in a bad situation."
Croslin, Haleigh's father, Ronald Cummings, and several others were arrested in January 2010 following an undercover investigation and are now serving prison terms of varying lengths.
Haleigh was reported missing Feb. 10, 2009 from the Satsuma home she shared with Cummings, her little brother and Croslin. Putnam County sheriff's officials have since said Haleigh is believed to be dead.
Haleigh's mother, Crystal Sheffield, was at Monday's hearing. She said afterward that she had hoped Croslin would say something about the missing girl.
"I would have liked to have seen her give answers," Sheffield said. "You say you (Croslin) love my children. Why would you do this? God will reveal it one day. He will give me the answer."
When Croslin was sentenced in St. Johns County in October, she took the stand and described a tough upbringing. She said the reason she was investigated on the drug charges was because of the Haleigh case. Her mother, Lisa Croslin, also testified while prosecutors called an investigator to testify.
In Putnam County, however, the only person to speak was Croslin's father, Hank Croslin Sr., who was asked to address the judge by his daughter despite her attorney advising against it. Hank Croslin, who has previously been jailed on unrelated drug charges, initially appeared reluctant to speak but in a brief, tearful statement told the judge that Croslin is not a drug dealer and asked for leniency.
Attorney Robert Fields said afterward he believes Croslin wanted her father to speak on her behalf as an instinctive need for support.
"She is in a very dark place right now no matter what people believe," Fields said. "It's just a sad matter that I feel is still unresolved."
Arrested with Croslin and Cummings in the drug investigation were Croslin's brother, Hank "Tommy" Croslin Jr.; Cummings' cousin, Hope Sykes; and a friend of Croslin, Donna Brock.
Cummings' mother, Teresa Neves, said afterward her son wants to know where his daughter is.
"We just want justice for Haleigh," Neves said, adding that the family is planning a public event to mark the second anniversary of Haleigh's disappearance.
Croslin and Tommy Croslin have implicated a cousin from Tennessee, Joe Overstreet, in the disappearance. Croslin said Overstreet attacked the girl and that Tommy Croslin said Overstreet disposed of the body in the St. Johns River at a boat ramp between Satsuma and Welaka. A three-day search in April did not turn up any remains of Haleigh.
Overstreet has denied involvement.