Mom who terrorized neighborhood sentenced for child abuse: Problem Solvers follow-up

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The 38-year old Arvada mom featured in a Problem Solvers investigation Wednesday, spent her first night in jail Thursday.

Adrienne Stone was sentenced by Jefferson County Judge Jeffrey Pilkington Thursday afternoon to five months of work release and four years of probation for her July 10 convictions of menacing with a deadly weapon, six counts of misdemeanor child abuse and one count of violating a protection order.

It's rare for a first time offender to get jail time, but Judge Pilkington noted Stone deserved some form of punitive punishment for crimes that had impacted not just her family, but many of her neighbors.

Work Release means Stone will have to spend her nights in the Jefferson County jail and her days either at a job or drug treatment facility approved by her parole officer.

FOX31's original investigation into Stone featured an interview with her oldest son Nicholas Maerz Junior who insisted his mother should no longer be allowed to raise his seven youngest siblings.

"My mom is more irate then ever. She has threatened to leave the state, she has threatened to take the kids" said the now 18-year college freshman, who was 17 when his mom threatened to stab him with a knife in May of 2018.

After that incident, state social workers removed Nicholas and his seven  younger siblings but only because the family home had been condemned by code enforcement for its messy, unsanitary conditions.

Nearly three months later all the children were returned except for Nicolas, who refused to go home.

"She already had those same patterns of being an aggressive kind of person and then after she started doing drugs it all kind of went down really fast and it all kind of culminated when she pulled the knife on me," said Maerz Jr.

Child Protection workers returned to Stone's home last week on Fri., August 23 to place all of her children in foster care but that followed a police visit earlier that day for a domestic violence call and inquiries from FOX31 Investigative Reporter Rob Low.

Nicholas Maerz Jr. and several neighbors maintained the state should've removed Stone's children back on July 10, once she was convicted of child abuse.

"How do you think it was for your neighbors to have your mom as their neighbor?" reporter Rob Low asked Maerz Jr, who responded, "I can't imagine. They were constantly in fear of her."

Multiple neighbors tell the Problem Solvers, Stone would attack them verbally in person and taunt them on social media.

Court records show Stone was the target of multiple restraining orders and property records show three of her immediate neighbors sold their house in the last year.

At Thursday's sentencing hearing, Jefferson County prosecutors revealed Arvada Police had been called by neighbors or family members about Adrienne Stone 11 times in 2019, 29 times in 2018 and 11 times in 2017.

Stone's arrest record dates back more than 20 years and includes a misdemeanor conviction of Obstructing a Police Officer.

Judge Pilkington called Nicholas Maerz Jr. a resilient and courageous young man for testifying about his mother's behavior.

Pilkington went on to say Stone clearly had long standing anger issues and ordered her to undergo mental health and drug treatment.

Stone's own mother Judith White told the judge she adored her daughter but, "I don't adore her behavior and I worry for her mental health."

White lived with Adrienne Stone and her grandchildren for 11 years but moved out in the Spring of 2018 because of what she considered her daughter's erratic, mean-spirited behavior towards everyone she came into contact with.

White said jail time would be better for her daughter because it would allow "time the kids to not have her control and manipulate them."

Prosecutors told the judge that Stone has a history of using "threats and intimidation if she doesn't get what she wants" telling Nicholas Maerz's high school principal "He would be sorry" for not giving Stone information she demanded and once even told responding police officers she was "praying they would get bullets in their heads."

Earlier this week, prosecutors say neighbors of Stone received intimidating Facebook messages with pictures of their children from an account of Stone's ex-husband that neighbors strongly suspected was really sent by Adrienne Stone herself.

Stone's own defense attorney acknowledged to the judge his client had "made lots of enemies" and was foolish to turn down a plea deal from Jefferson County prosecutors that would've meant a sentence of diversion allowing for probation and a chance to wipe away her conviction.

Instead, a jury convicted her of Felony Menacing, Child Abuse and Violation of a Protection Order.

Stone herself told the judge, "I don't deny that I have some significant anger issues," adding "I know I need counseling. I feel very judged and misunderstood.  I'm really a good person with a good heart but it's sometimes hard to see because of the ways I feel I need to protect myself."

Stone blamed her issues on an opioid addiction that she said begin three years ago after a car accident.  Both Stone and her personal doctor told Judge Pilkington she had been sober for the past 14 months.

But Judge Pilkington said Stone has a long history of anti-social behavior, "I don't think she's taking responsibility for what's happened."

Stone asked the judge for an opportunity to turn herself into jail on Friday but her request was denied and she was immediately hand-cuffed and taken into custody to spend her first night in jail.

Her son Nicholas Maerz Jr, told FOX31 he doubted his mother will be able to successfully complete probation, "I think probation in a sense is going to give her enough rope to hang herself. I don't think she'll be able to stay out of trouble and police contact long enough to comply with probation."

A juror, who asked the Problem Solvers not to share her identity, emailed FOX31 after the trial, writing "I broke down in tears.... I was not prepared for the way it has effected me since."

The juror said she stood "100 percent behind my vote for guilty on all counts" but  worried the jury's verdict had split up a family  but was reassured by others that "I DID NOT SPLIT UP HER FAMILY.  SHE DID. It has taken me the last several weeks to accept that I did nothing wrong to her children. SHE DID"

A judge in Family Court is expected to hold a Dependency and Neglect hearing on Friday August 30th to determine custody of Stone's children.

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