Michelle Lynn Bailey

PRINCETON — The sentencing of a Princeton woman charged in a convenience store robbery case has been delayed to allow enough time for a psychological evaluation.

Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler on Monday morning delayed sentencing Michelle Lynn Bailey, 36, who was arrested in September 2017 and charged with conspiracy related to convenience store robberies. She was indicted in June 2018 on first degree robbery and conspiracy charges.

Defense attorney Josh Lawson told Sadler that Bailey had a drug problem.

“One thing sticks out,” he said. “It’s all motivated by substance abuse.”

Lawson said Bailey takes responsibility for her actions and now realizes she has a problem and wants to get help, and he recommended treatment.

“It’s a great option for her, to incorporate her back into society,” he said. “She did not want help before but realizes now she needs help.”

Bailey, who has a previous drug conviction in Virginia and was on probation, spoke on her own behalf and told Sadler she has been an addict for 16 years and asked for a chance to enroll in a drug rehab program.

“I am an addict and I need help,” she said.

Sadler said the case presents “a lot of factors for the court to weigh in on.”

He ordered a 45-day delay to obtain a further evaluation.

Assistant Prosecutor Janet Williamson said Bailey will be returned to the custody of the Department of Corrections and remain incarcerated during the evaluation.

Sadler “needs more input” before making a decision, she said.

Bailey was arrested along with two other people after Cpl. Adam Ballard, with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, and his wife Nicole, with the Bluefield State College campus police, were in the Lerona area when they noticed suspicious behavior after seeing a car parked at a convenience store.

They were off duty at the time but Ballard got the car’s tag number, went home to get his cruiser and returned to find the car parked across from the store.

Williamson said Sadler will wait until the evaluation is complete and he has the results before setting another sentencing date.