Grand Traverse Judge Reacts to Ruling that he Showed Extreme Bias Sentencing Pregnant Woman

A Grand Traverse County judge is accused of showing extreme bias towards a pregnant woman.

The Michigan Court of Appeals court said 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power was biased when he sentenced defendant Sammantha Hughes in December of 2018.

In December, he gave her 13 to 24 months in jail for tampering with her electronic tether.

He says she had a history of meth and cocaine use and he wanted the sentence to keep the baby safe.

Hughes appealed that verdict.

The State Appeals Court first said her appeal had a lack of merit, but the second and final appellate panel decided that Judge Power showed extreme bias towards Hughes.

Judge Power says his sentencing was only done to protect the child from defects caused by potential drug use.

“I did what was necessary to protect the child,” said Power. “If you’re going to compare three extra months in jail for the mother versus a permanent lifetime disability for the child, that’s not a close call.”

Hughes has said she did not use drugs during previous pregnancies.

Hughes has been released and her baby was born on July 2.