Dawn Oxley sentenced to 90 months on drug charges

The key witness in the murder of her ex-husband was sentenced Tuesday to 90 months in Nevada State Prison for using her 15-year-old daughter in multiple drug transactions.

Dawn Leann Oxley must serve 36 months before she is eligible for parole. She pleaded no contest in August to allowing a child to be present during the commission of a controlled substance violation.

She received credit for 221 days in custody.

Oxley, 38, is the ex-wife of Benjamin Oxley who was shot to death in February 2008 as he slept in his home in the Johnson Lane subdivision of Wildhorse.

Dawn Oxley's then-boyfriend, James Matlean, 23, has been charged with the crime. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon on Dec. 6, 2010, and is set for a trial to begin Jan. 31, 2012.

Dawn Oxley was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her truthful testimony against Matlean.

The drug charge arose following her arrest March 4 with her then 15-year-old daughter after an investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Street Enforcement Team.

Investigators allegedly conducted three separate controlled purchases of prescription medications from the subjects, totaling more than 70 pills and tablets.

District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Oxley to remain in Douglas County Jail until she has an arranged visit with her daughter. "There are many results from the crime you committed that don't just harm you or the community, but all the members of your family," Gamble said.

"I can't allow myself to forget the actual facts of the case. You used your daughter as the instrumentality to commit felonies. As long as you shake your head and deny the truth, you will remain where you are."

He told Oxley the purpose of the meeting was to make sure her daughter knew that it wasn't her fault.

Oxley had little to say at the sentencing until Gamble made a reference to a confidential presentence investigation report.

"In case you haven't noticed, this is exactly what your father did to you," he said.

"Please do not bring my father into this. Nothing is the same," she said. "You're yelling at me for my father?"

"I'm yelling at you for not breaking the cycle," Gamble said. "I don't want to see your daughters standing before me in belly chains."

Oxley asked if her daughters would be able to visit her in prison. Gamble said he would make that determination in custody cases involving the girls.

"I think it's appropriate for you to retain relationships with both your daughters," Gamble said.

Gamble denied a motion that Oxley be allowed to participate in a drug rehabilitation program prior to going to prison.

He said he would recommend that she be released to the program when she earns parole.

"It will fit with Ms. Oxley's stated intention of changing her life," Gamble said. "I don't want to give short shrift to her desire to recover. I think this is the appropriate order of business."

Her lawyer, Robert Morris, pointed out that the offense was Oxley's first felony conviction and she deserved the minimum sentence. She could have received up to 15 years in prison and was ineligible for probation.

"I think she realizes what a huge mistake this was in her life," he said.

Morris said Oxley faces a termination of parental rights hearing in December and is set to be a witness in Matlean's murder trial in January.


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