A Harlan couple is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Laurel District Court next week on charges that include drug offenses and endangerment of three children.

Catise Latham, 28, and Phillip Barnhill, 38, both of May Street in Harlan, are both held in the Laurel Detention under $5,000 cash bond on trafficking in a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor following an investigation by Laurel Sheriff’s officials early Tuesday morning.

The investigation by Sgt. Brett Reeves and Deputy Mikey Ashurst began with a complaint of an intoxicated female who was allegedly trying to shoplift items from the Pilot Truck Stop on Cumberland Gap Parkway, 10 miles south of London around 4 a.m. Tuesday. 

When the officers arrived at the scene, they learned that the woman had gotten into the driver’s seat of a silver Ford Taurus and left the scene.

The deputies tracked down the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. During the investigation, the driver (Latham) and passenger (Barnhill) were found in possession of 69 Xanax pills that were hidden in Tylenol bottles. The couple also had three small children in the back seat of the vehicle and both the adults were determined to be under the influence, resulting in the endangerment charges.

Latham was arrested on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, failure to wear seat belts, endangering the welfare of a minor, trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; prescription controlled substances not in the proper container, first offense; resisting arrest and second-degree disorderly conduct.

Latham reportedly became upset during the ride from the arrest scene to the jail and yelled and screamed, then tried to fight officers as she was being taken inside the Laurel Detention Center. 

She was also charged on two Harlan County bench warrants for failing to appear on her scheduled court dates there. 

She is held under $5,000 cash bond on the endangerment and drug charges, under $300 cash bond and $1,000 cash bond on the warrant charges.

Barnhill was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, and prescription controlled substances not in the proper container. 

He is held under $5,000 cash bond.

Both are set for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 12. 

Social Services were called to the scene on behalf of the three children, and then taken into Social Services’ custody.


React to this story: