What has Virginia come to?

A Virginia mother was sentenced yesterday to 10 days in jail for defying a court order not to smoke in front of her children.

Tamara Silvius, 44, who has said she smokes about a pack of cigarettes a day, was led from a Caroline County courtroom in handcuffs. But the judge allowed her to post a $500 bond to stay out of jail while she appeals the ruling.

“It should never have come to this,” Silvius said in a telephone interview, after spending four hours in jail before being released. “. . . I hope and pray my two little kids don’t think they had their mama sent to jail.”

The sentence is the latest development in a bitter and long-running battle between Silvius and her ex-husband, Steven Silvius, over custody of their children, ages 10 and 8…

Tamara Silvius already had violated the court order once. At Thanksgiving, while driving her children to South Carolina, Silvius, wanting to smoke as she drove, tacked up plastic between the front and back seats and secured it with duct tape. In January, she was found guilty of violating the order in that instance and was given a 10-day suspended sentence.

Here is the full story.


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