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Murder victim’s wife faces new charge after hooch found in jail cell

A Millstone woman accused of helping to murder her husband in June is facing new charges after she apparently attempted to drown her sorrows with “Gatorade wine.”

Stephanie Yvonne Jones Fleming was charged with first-degree promoting contraband after five bottles of a homemade alcoholic beverage known as “hooch” were found underneath a mat in her cell in the Letcher County Jail.

Letcher County Jailer Don Mc- Call said similar mixtures of hooch or “prison wine” are found in cells a couple of times a year. Inmates make the concoction after saving bread and liquids such as Gatorade or sweetened Kool-Aid, then combining them with fruit leftover from their meals and placing the ingredients in bottles to ferment. The bread serves as the yeast needed to turn sugar into alcohol. McCall said it usually takes a couple of weeks for the mixture to ferment.

“It’s a homemade alcohol concoction,” said McCall. “They just hide it in the cell. If they can get it to the point to where it is alcohol, they will drink it.”

McCall said in most cases jail employees find and confiscate the hooch before inmates are able to consume the mixture. The homemade brew found in Stephanie Fleming’s cell was made in Gatorade bottles, McCall said.

McCall said he learned from jail employees that other inmates in Stephanie Fleming’s cell were taking turns possessing the brew, but that Mrs. Fleming was caught in possession.

McCall said inmates learn how to make their own brew other contraband from cellmates who have been in other jails or prisons and share their knowledge with each other. Recipes for hooch are also available on the Internet.

Mrs. Fleming, 30, is scheduled to appear in Letcher District Court for a preliminary hearing on the promoting contraband charge at 2 p.m. on Sept. 26. She has been an inmate in the county jail since June 23, when she was charged with helping her lover, James Maggard, murder her husband, Dradrick “Drad” Fleming, on the night of June 20.

She has since been indicted on charges of complicity to capital murder, complicity to tampering with physical evidence, complicity to theft, hindering prosecution, complicity to arson, complicity to kidnapping, and being a persistent felony offender.

Maggard, of Neon, and Mrs. Fleming were charged after Drad Fleming’s badly burned body was found inside his pickup truck on a Black Mountain hillside after Maggard told police he killed Fleming in selfdefense. Police say the two suspects, who became lovers after meeting on the job at McDonald’s restaurant, killed Drad Fleming during an ambush they had planned with the help of a third suspect in the case, 24-year-old Austin L. Ison of Pert Creek.

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