A man convicted of two felonious forgery charges in Highland County will have three probation officers to report to once he is released from a program in Franklin Furnace, but he will still be considered a drug addict, according to a Fayette County judge.
Lloyd E. Smith, 35, Greenfield, is currently completing a program at the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace for two felonious forgery charges from Highland County last year. He was conveyed Monday to the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas for sentencing in two cases. Smith is now required by three different courts to report to three probation officers once he is released from the STAR program.
During Monday’s court sentencing in Fayette County, Smith admitted the forgery charges in Highland County stemmed from his heroin addiction, which he estimated has been going on four to five years.
The STAR program in Franklin Furnace is a community-based correctional facility. He said it is the first treatment program he has tried.
Lloyd was a passenger in a car stopped in the 900 block of East Paint Street Oct. 19, 2016 by the Washington Court House Police Department. A K-9 indicated the presence of drugs and paraphernalia, which were located. Less than one-tenth of a gram of heroin was located with Smith.
On Monday, Smith pled guilty to possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and was ordered to two years of community service with the Fayette County Adult Probation Department. A one-year prison sentence was suspended.
In total Smith will have three probation officers for three court-ordered supervisions.
He will be supervised by the Fayette County Adult Probation Department for the felony possession charge and was also ordered to be supervised by the Washington C.H. Municipal Court for a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge. On top of that he will be supervised by Highland County’s probation department upon his release from the STAR program.
If Smith violates any of the community control sanctions in Highland or Fayette counties, the suspended prison sentence could be imposed, according to Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas judge.
Smith was sentenced in Highland County to the STAR program Dec. 27, 2016 and is eligible for release as early as April.
During Monday’s hearing, Smith told the court that he is leading an advocacy group at the STAR program in Franklin Furnace and is working there to obtain a certificate.
“He anticipates upon completion of this program he will have the skills that he needs to not only be clean but to remain clean,” said Kathryn Hapner, a Hillsboro lawyer who served as Smith’s criminal defense attorney in the Fayette County drug possession case.
“You still come out an addict at the end of the program,” said Beathard. “It’s all in a controlled environment and you’re obviously a smart guy, so what happens when you walk out of that place? Your tolerance is way down, you get heroin laced with some fentanyl, and that’s why people are dying when they’re coming out of rehab.”
Beathard asked Smith if the STAR program officials have talked to him about the Vivitrol treatment program. If they have not, Beathard said the Vivitrol program is a treatment option that he has the right to look into himself. Vivitrol is a long-term program that administers doses of medication to block the effect of opioids.
“My concern is that, from what I see, is that they need to make a decision if they’re going to get Vivitrol and get the shot before they get out, because it’s the day they get out, or the two or three days after they’re out, that they die,” said Beathard. “All I can tell you is that we have people who go on [Vivitrol] and they love it. They say it’s like they never tried opioids.”
In a second case, Smith appeared for a civil motion for contempt for failure to pay child support and failure to seek work. He owes an arrears of $16,251.31 according to the child support enforcement agency. An order goes into effect upon Smith’s release from the STAR program that he will be required to register with Ohio Means Jobs and begin to look for work. A review hearing on that case is scheduled for Aug. 17.
Reach Ashley at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton.