Hitchhiker arraigned on drug, paraphernalia charges

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A homeless woman who hitchhiked a ride to Libby with her two dogs before refusing to get out of the motorist’s vehicle now faces multiple drug possession charges.

Kathleen Marie Donoghue, 41, of no fixed address, is charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and four felony counts and one misdemeanor count of possession of dangerous drugs. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in Lincoln County District Court on Dec. 2.

Sheriff’s deputies found the drugs and drug paraphernalia after the motorist who picked up Donoghue called authorities from a local gas station about 8:32 p.m., Nov. 20. The man claimed to have let Donoghue and her pets into his vehicle in Spokane. She was now refusing to get out, according to court documents.

Deputies Steve Short and Brent Faulkner responded to the call. Short, who wrote the affidavit, recalled questioning Donoghue while Faulkner spoke with the victim. When the victim agreed to let the duo search his vehicle, Donoghue objected, Short wrote in the affidavit.

She had removed her belongings and dogs when the deputies spotted a camouflaged backpack in the vehicle. Donoghue and the victim accused each other of owning the bag, court documents said.

Searching the bag, Faulkner found five grams of marijuana; 10 pink pills, each amounting to a half milligram of clonazepam, better known as Klonopin; 10 orange pills, each amounting a half milligram of clonazepam; 17 blue pills, each amounting to a milligram of clonazepam; and a half gram of methamphetamines, according to court documents.

The bag also contained a hash pipe with residue, a glass meth pipe, female toiletries and two notebooks with feminine handwriting and information about dogs, court documents said. The deputies also found a Washington State government benefits card in Donoghue’s name, Short wrote. They later found a second glass meth pipe, court documents said.

The deputies also ran a criminal history of both Donoghue and the victim, and found that she had two prior cases in 2018 and 2019 for possession of controlled substances.

Several of the pills found in Donoghue’s belongings were not hers, Short wrote. Deputies determined that a few were 300-milligram gabapentin pills, of which the victim had a prescription.

Checking his bottle, the victim said they were taken from him, likely while the pair stayed overnight at a motel during their travels together, court documents said. The victim told deputies he found Donoghue acting suspiciously in the bathroom of the motel, but had not previously noticed the missing pills.

Donoghue was held on a $10,000 bond and is expected in court for an omnibus hearing Jan. 27.

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