Morsette denies robbing pharmacy
August 8, 2014
A Havre woman this morning denied listening to voices prompting her to rob a pharmacy - with a stolen BB gun - of 6,000 prescription painkillers and selling them in a Havre hotel.
Arlene Morsette, born in 1984, pleaded not guilty this morning in state District Court in Havre to 10 felony charges.
District Judge Dan Boucher scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 11 along with a hearing to address the amount of bond - now set at $100,000 - and conditions for release if she bonds out.
Morsette told investigating officers that she conducted a string of crimes including the July 21 robbery of Western Drug Pharmacy to see if she could get away with it like voices she was hearing told her she could, a court document says.
The document says Morsette first successfully drove off from a Havre gas station without paying for about $70 worth of gasoline, then burgled items from the Havre Walmart including the silver BB gun she is charged with using in the robbery and the can of black spraypaint she used to paint the gun.
She is charged with stealing prescription pills valued at $4,015 with an estimated street sale value of $50,000. Officers arrested her July 22 at the Havre Budget Inn after a tipster reported someone selling large amounts of prescription drugs there.
Morsette pleaded not guilty this morning to robbery; assault with a weapon; two charges of tampering with evidence - removing the pills from the bottles they came in and removing prescription labels, and throwing away clothes and the BB gun; four counts of possessing drugs with intent to distribute for possessing hydrocodone, oxycodone, Zolpidem and Xanax; and criminal child endangerment for trying to sell drugs while her 4-month-old baby was present.
The possible penalties range from up to 10 years for some charges to not less than two years and up to 40 years for the robbery charge.