McReynolds and defense attorney Malcolm Montgomery stood before Judge Michael Bullerdieck at the Cape Girardeau Courthouse. The appearance lasted only minutes, enough time for McReynolds to enter a plea of not guilty to an amended charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
The hearing also saw McReynolds, through Montgomery, bypass the formal reading of the charges that assert she sold the prescription-only hydrocodone pills to an undercover agent with the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force. Eight of the children in McReynolds' care were present at the time, according to court filings, at her Beautiful Beginnings day care at 2625 Hopper Road.
Bullerdieck, an associate circuit judge, on Wednesday moved the case on to the next legal level, setting a court date for Nov. 19 before associate Judge William Syler.
McReynolds could see a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison if she's convicted of the single felony drug-distribution charge. But the 37-year-old married mother of two could have been looking at a much lengthier prison stay under the original complaint filed Oct. 1. It had included the enhanced penalties that come with convictions under Missouri's drug-free school-zone legislation.
But prosecutors admitted -- and corrected -- their mistake.
McReynolds on Wednesday had been free on $25,000 bond, which was reduced from the $100,000 cash-only bail that had been levied when the charges were heftier.
100 Court St., Jackson, MO
2625 Hopper Road, Cape Girardeau, MO