For several months, Jennifer Severs’ children stayed with their father after she lost custody due to a drug test allegedly showing she had methamphetamine and marijuana in her system. Her mother, Judy McGinnis, didn’t believe the test and reached out to the doctor listed on the paperwork. It turns out he never tested Severs’ sample.
McGinnis, according to WTVY, worked to right the wrong, which eventually led to the arrest of Brandy Murrah, who forged drug tests for potentially thousands of victims.
“It’s hard when your children get snatched away from you,” Severs told WTVY.
Severs sent another sample to a different lab, which came back negative and she was able to get her children back.
Severs had been in a custody battle with her ex-husband when the falsified test results occurred, even though the Troy resident said she doesn’t take any drugs. It took months to correct the original, fake test results and get her children back.
Murrah owned the firm A and J Labs, which submitted drug-test results to the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Murrah’s company collected the samples and was supposed to send them out to be tested before receiving the results and passing them along to DHR. But WTVY reported that Murrah never forwarded the samples for testing and instead falsified results and submitted those to DHR.
“It is believed Murrah owed for previous tests and the labs that tested samples she collected may have no longer been willing to extend her credit,” the outlet reported.
Murrah’s forgeries likely affected hundreds, if not thousands of victims, the outlet reported. In another example highlighted by WTVY, a reformed drug addict was kept from reuniting with her children because of one of Murrah’s falsified tests. Murrah’s document claimed Grace Faulk had relapsed and that drugs were found in her system, which was not true.
Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams argued against leniency for Murrah in court. Circuit Judge William Filmore agreed, and sentenced Murrah to 15 years in prison, though she faced up to 99 years in prison. Murrah had pleaded guilty in September to a felony charge of perjury and 12 misdemeanor counts of forgery.
“This is a unique case— it touched a lot of people (and) it really ticks me off,” Adams said after the sentence was handed down.
Murrah accepted responsibility and apologized for her actions, but Filmore still denied her probation or acceptance into a work-release program.
“I know I did wrong,” Murrah said in court. “I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my life… I’m sorry for anyone I ever hurt. I really did not do this intentionally to ever hurt anyone.”
The Dothan Eagle reported that witnesses “painted different pictures of Brandy Murrah during a Thursday sentencing hearing at the Dale County Courthouse.” Parents said Murrah disregarded them while falsifying tests, but employers called her a model employee.
The outlet reported that Murrah’s perjury charge came after she lied in court about the test results of a father trying to keep custody of his children.
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