Wallace pleads guilty to manslaughter charge


Same charge dropped for O’Cull after hung jury

By David Wright - dwright@civitasmedia.com



Brittany Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday alongside defense attorney Lee Koogler.

Brittany Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday alongside defense attorney Lee Koogler.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Brittany Wallace was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a charge brought against her after a woman died from overdosing on drugs allegedly provided to her by Wallace last September.

Wallace, 29, Hillsboro, appeared in Highland County Common Pleas Court for a status hearing in the case, which was set for a jury trial June 12.

Two other counts on Wallace’s indictment, corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in drugs, were dropped as part of a plea deal.

According to court documents, Ashley Ronsheim arranged to buy heroin from Wallace last September, and used it in a ditch alongside Sabina Road with Brandon Moore. Both overdosed and were discovered by law enforcement, court documents say. Moore was revived, but Ronsheim, who was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, died the next day, according to the bill.

The results of an autopsy showed the cause of Ronsheim’s death was Fentanyl intoxication, documents state.

The case is one of two Highland County cases in which manslaughter and drug corruption indictments have been filed against those who allegedly sold drugs to others who died after using them.

The other case, involving Tracey O’Cull, 40, also of Hillsboro, is set for a sentencing hearing June 22.

As previously reported by The Times-Gazette, O’Cull was found guilty of corrupting another with drugs by a jury earlier this month, and is facing a mandatory two to eight years in prison.

As for the involuntary manslaughter charge, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision, with one juror holding out against a guilty verdict.

Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins, who had the choice whether or not to re-try the case within 10 days of the trial, requested on Wednesday that the court drop the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Collins has said this type of case is part of a paradigm shift in the local justice system’s response to the opiate epidemic.

According to Collins, there have been several cases around Southwest Ohio where prosecutors have held drug traffickers responsible for overdose deaths by charging the trafficker with involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs.

Collins told The Times-Gazette that she has no similar cases pending currently.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Brittany Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday alongside defense attorney Lee Koogler.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2017/05/web1_brittanywallace.jpgBrittany Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday alongside defense attorney Lee Koogler. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Same charge dropped for O’Cull after hung jury

By David Wright

dwright@civitasmedia.com

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