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Gillam sentenced after disobeying drug court rules

IRONTON — A former St. Francois County Drug Court participant was sentenced in Iron County last month after he stopped obeying drug court rules.

Sam Gillam absconded from the program in May after being warned the week before that he would be terminated from the program if he committed any more violations.

Gillam was on probation in Iron County for a felony drug charge. One of the conditions of his probation was to complete the drug court program in St. Francois County, where he had moved.

Last month, Sam J. Gillam, 23, was sentenced to six years in prison for violating his probation. But Circuit Court Judge Kelly Parker will consider placing him on a new term of probation after Gillam completes 120-day shock incarceration.

Gillam was first introduced to Daily Journal readers in October of 2006 as a participant of the Church Army of the Leadbelt. At that time, Gillam, formerly of Iron County, told the Daily Journal he began smoking crack when he was just 8 years old. By the time he was 12 or 13, he was getting the drugs on his own.

He began the drug court program the spring after the article ran and drug court officials felt he was a success story.

Drug Court Administrator Amy Patterson said things were going well for Gillam until November when he was moved back to Phase I for allowing people to consume alcohol in his residence. She said it got worse in January when he and his wife became unemployed and he suffered a serious infection that landed him in the hospital.

In April, he was caught consuming alcohol and was sanctioned to serve 120 hours in jail with work release so he could keep his new job.

When Gillam didn’t turn himself into the jail and missed curfew and an appointment with a probation officer, the drug court team decided to terminate him from the program and send him back to regular court for violating his probation. He failed to show up for drug court and was arrested days later.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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