This was emailed to Sentinel writer Helen McCoy as well as to me.

Dear Ms. McCoy,

I am writing this letter in response to a story you ran regarding Amanda Wood on December 5, 2009. Unfortunately, I have just gotten a copy, so I’m late replying. However, I did want to point out a couple of mistakes and points that were overlooked in your article. In your article, you stated that the family of her boyfriend had been to court earlier that week on drug charges. First off, that was my son that went to jail WITH Ms. Wood. Secondly, I called the Sheriff’s Department to come and pick Amanda up because she had an outstanding warrant for failing a drug screen for marijuana and opiates, which of course were violations of her Probation. I had told her on several occasions that she must address these issues, go to drug rehab, or move out of my house. She absolutely refused to deal with her drug problem. So, I was left with no choice but to get her out of my house. She had been staying with my son at my house for over two years. She never worked, slept all day while my son and I were at work. She never paid rent or contributed anything to the household. In fact, last Christmas I had to give her money so that could buy presents for her family because she stated to me that she had spent all her money on her drug habit. The only other adults that were residing at my residence were me and my son and I’m the one who called to have her picked up. I certainly was not in court on drug charges as you stated in your article. The exact opposite would be the truth.

After Ms. Wood was taken into custody, she impostured a panic attack and was taken to the hospital. While in the hospital, she fled the scene, that’s right, just walked right out of the hospital. She was not captured for two days until she was attempting to take a bus to North Carolina in attempt to leave the state to avoid prosecution. She had stolen my son’s last paycheck out of the ATM and bought her ticket with his money at the bus station at the Airport bus terminal. So, not only is she a charlatan, a vagabond and a squatter (she refused to leave my residence after being asked several times), but she is a drug addict (bragging to her friends about the track marks on her arms), a liar and a thief. As of yet, she had not been charged with the escape and attempt to flee, which I don’t personally understand. It would be a travesty of justice if she gets away without paying for those charges, as well as the others.

You article paints her as a poor misguided innocent girl who was a victim of circumstance, when the fact is she one of, if not the most, manipulative, borderline personalities of anyone I’ve had the displeasure to meet.  I’m also upset because she is not facing charges for escape from custody and leaving the state to avoid prosecution (she had just picked up her ticket). I would also like to add that all of the drugs and paraphernalia were found only in HER room. I was told by my son that Amanda did not want me in their room because it made her “uncomfortable.” Well, no wonder it would have made me uncomfortable!! Regardless, I blindly respected his wishes. I must also add that throughout their relationship, she was emotionally and physically abusive to my son. On one occasion, she kicked him in the face while he slept and gave him a black eye, which she thought was funny and bragged about. It was times like these that I demanded that she leave my house, but my son, not realizing he was in an abusive relationship, pleaded with me to let her stay. She did, however, leave a few times, but only for a couple of days each time.

In her last violation of probation, in which she spent 60 days incarcerated, she bragged to me and my son that she was buying drugs from someone in the jail with the money that my son sent her for her commissary. She seems to find excitement in getting away with whatever rules she wants to break, while the whole time she plays the “poor me” pity card. Well, Amanda, it’s time to pay for playing. What she stated in the article is nothing but laughable. She stated she did not know of any other drugs in her room? REALLY??? When I allowed the police to search her room, there were pipes, spoons with drug residue, scales, and baggies sitting out in plain sight and needles on her dresser. But yet she only knew of the marijuana? What a JOKE!!!

I can only say a huge THANK YOU to Judge Susan Camp for not allowing her to have ANY contact with my family. I no longer feel like a prisoner in my own home. I no longer have to sleep with my purse under my pillow for fear that, once again, I would be robbed while I slept.


Leslie Smith