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Heroin dealer gets prison for role in 'curb-stomp' attack

A grandmother admitted to drug-dealing charges and her role in a brutal attack that caused a known heroin dealer lasting brain damage.

Terri Lee Huffman, 54, was sentenced to 13 months in prison Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a felony assault charge for her role in an April attack on 25-year-old Seth Crowe outside a Central Point motel. In the assault, an associate working as Huffman's debt collector stomped the back of Crowe's head and left him for dead.

Crowe's medical bills are currently estimated to be at least $57,000, according to Deputy District Attorney David Orr, who described the April 28 incident involving Dustin Michael Sesock, Derek Miguel Euel Withrow and Huffman as an "awful, brutal assault." Orr said police caught Huffman in multiple lies during the investigation.

Staff at the Super 8 Motel found Crowe unconscious about an hour after Sesock brutally kicked him in the head. He was flown to Oregon Health & Science University to treat fractures and brain swelling, and is undergoing physical therapy at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene. 

Michael Kellington, Huffman's court-appointed defense lawyer, said his client was "small-time," contesting court documents filed by the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force that alleged she had a nickname of "Mama T" and ties to the Gypsy Joker motorcycle gang. Kellington said she tried to warn Crowe, telling him that Sesock and Withrow were "bad guys."

"She associated with some very, very bad people who did some very, very bad things," Kellington said.

Sesock and Withrow pleaded guilty to assault charges and other charges and were sentenced to prison in July.

Kellington described Huffman as a grandmother and a heroin addict with severe health conditions such as the thyroid problem Graves Disease, the loss of sight in her right eye, vertigo conditions and severe neck problems. He asked Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain that she spend the remainder of her sentence at the Jackson County Transition Center.

In a rambling, tearful statement to Crain, Huffman denied she ever ordered anyone to be hurt after pleading guilty to felony charges of second-degree assault and delivering heroin. 

Crain followed the recommended sentence of 13 month in prison with no eligibility for programs, calling it very lenient.

Orr said outside the courtroom Huffman's actual prison sentence will be short. Huffman will get credit for the time she's spent lodged in the Jackson County Jail since June 23, and will serve an estimated 70 percent of her sentence before she's eligible for parole.

"She's going up to prison about three months," Orr said.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.