Resolution expected in Wallace manslaughter case


A case in which a woman was indicted on involuntary manslaughter and drug corruption charges after an overdose death is expected to come to a resolution next Wednesday at a status hearing.

The case is one of two similar cases where Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins has brought involuntary manslaughter and drug corruption charges against those who have allegedly sold drugs leading to the deaths of others.

In the case at hand, it is alleged that Brittany Wallace, 30, Hillsboro, sold drugs to Ashley Ronsheim, who died of Fentanyl intoxication shortly thereafter, according to court documents.

According to documents, Ronsheim allegedly sent a text message to Wallace arranging for a drug exchange. The two met, court documents say, and Ronsheim and another individual allegedly used the drugs in a ditch along Sabina Road and passed out.

The two were found by law enforcement, according to court documents, and the second person was resuscitated, but Ronsheim, who was immediately transported to Miami Valley Hospital, died the next day.

The incident occurred in September of last year.

Wallace appeared in Highland County Common Pleas Court Wednesday alongside defense attorney Lee Koogler, who said during the hearing he expects the case to reach a resolution at a status hearing set for next Wednesday.

Koogler told The Times-Gazette after the pre-trial hearing that he anticipates the possibility of a plea at that time.

“We’ll certainly know Wednesday,” he said.

In a similar case last week, Tracey O’Cull, 40, Hillsboro, was convicted by a jury of corrupting another with drugs, but the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the manslaughter charge.

As previously reported by The Times-Gazette, that type of case is new for Highland County, and part of a paradigm shift in the local justice system’s response to the opiate epidemic, according to Collins.

Collins said 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 remarked after the O’Cull trial that she hopes the case “sends a message.”

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

Brittany Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday next to defense attorney Lee Koogler during a pre-trial hearing. Wallace, right, sits in court Wednesday next to defense attorney Lee Koogler during a pre-trial hearing. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Defense anticipates possible plea deal

By David Wright

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