Nov 18, 2013

Hart gets community control for Felony 3 drugs

GREENVILLE – “If I send you to prison the warden will kick you out in 30 days to go through a substance abuse program…

“You say things that don’t make sense. You don’t follow through. However the current model says we have to give you a chance to go through substance abuse programs.”

Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein expressed his displeasure as he sentenced Felony 3 defendant Jacob Hart to community control rather than prison on Nov. 18.

“Why didn’t you follow through with the court ordered mental health program?” Hein asked the defendant. Hart said he went to one but didn’t go back.

Marijuana at age 15. Prescription drugs at 20. Meth at 22. Hein listed the defendant’s illegal drug use then said, “You don’t think you have a problem… I do!”

Hart pleaded guilty to F3 Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Drugs on Oct. 1. By current law a prison term is presumed necessary but not mandatory. The state wants communities to treat non-violent offenders locally. Hart is one of four people involved in the operation. Edward Dingman, captured at the same time, pleaded guilty to F3 drug assembly. His sentencing date is set for Dec. 2. Two others were thought to be in Texas, however Joe King had since returned to Darke County and has a pre-trial set for Dec. 2 on the same charges.

Asst. Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Quigley called for a prison term, noting she didn’t think Hart was taking this seriously. She added he was capable of working so the fine ($5,000) should be imposed.

“We need to get the defendant’s attention,” she said.

Hart’s defense attorney, Randall Breaden, recommended community control, adding this was not a crime of violence.

“I’m concerned he did not follow through with Darke Recovery,” Breaden noted, then added “he has served 56 days in jail already.”

Hein asked Hart when his brother will be getting out of prison. Hart responded, December. Had he visited? No. Why not? A two-hour drive.

“Your brother is in prison for a drug offense. You don’t seem to care. You just don’t get it.”

Noting the risk of recidivism is likely, Hein said he was imposing up to 60 months of community sanctions and 56 days in jail with credit for time served.

“You have a job,” Hein said. “You’ll pay the mandatory fine of $5,000 plus court costs.” He also required 80 hours of community service.

“You’re getting community control to give you a chance to prove yourself. You WILL complete Darke County Recovery Services.” He advised Hart that if he didn’t comply, Mrs. Quigley would get her wish… 18 months in prison.

“I’m not impressed,” Hein said. “And you will be walking out of here knowing I’m not impressed. This isn’t a question of what you want to do, but doing what you are told to do.”


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