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Misty Cummings appeals drug conviction, sentence

Teenager was last person to see Haleigh Cummings alive


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Misty Cummings, the teenager who was babysitting Haleigh Cummings when the 5-year-old Satsuma girl disappeared in 2009, has filed an appeal of her 2010 conviction on drug charges.

Cummings, who is referred to in court records by her maiden name of Croslin, claims that her guilty plea at the time was involuntary, based on off-the-record promises by her lawyer.

According to the appeal, Cummings, who was 17 at the time, claims that her lawyer told her she would be sentenced only to six years in prison under the Youthful Offender Act. Cummings claims she didn't understand any of the procedure because she was being treated with psychotropic drugs for depression and PTSD over the Haleigh case.

Attorney Randy Reep, who is not affiliated with the case tells News4Jax if she wins this hearing it won't do much for Cummings.

"If you win this hearing, it puts you back to the moment right before you entered the plea. It is not a re-sentencing or a new trial. It is yes, you had ineffective assistance of counsel. Now you are going back to just the moment before. The case is alive; you are or are not out on bond as the case would be. So there are a bunch of things that would have to go," Reep said.

Cummings further claims that she was entrapped by co-defendant Donna Brock, and her lawyer never raised the issue of entrapment.

DOCUMENT: Motion for new trial

A hearing on Cummings' bid to vacate the sentence and hold a jury trial on the original charges is scheduled Tuesday in St. Johns County.  She is representing herself in the case.

After Haleigh disappeared, Croslin married the missing girl's father, Ronald Cummings, who is also serving 25 years, as are Brock and two other people on drug dealing convictions. Prosecutors released surveillance videos that they said shows undercover drug deals involving Misty and Ronald Cummings.

Authorities always maintained that the drug charges have no connection to the ongoing investigation into Haleigh's disappearance, which they now consider a homicide case.