Prison sentence, no EOCC, for crimes

LISBON — A New Waterford woman was sentenced to 11 months in prison after continuing to commit crimes despite previous addiction help.

Rebecca S. Lucas, state Route 7, New Waterford, was in Common Pleas Court Thursday for a sentencing hearing for charges of tampering with evidence, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under suspension and possession of cocaine.

Lucas and her defense attorney, Peter Horvath, were asking for Judge Scott Washam to consider sending her to the Eastern Ohio Corrections Center during a sentencing hearing for her drug addiction problems. Horvath said he does not believe confinement is a cure for addiction.

“I’ve tried to get sober,” Lucas said. “I’ve tried to get clean and failed. I think my sister is right. I think I need to get away from this town.”

Lucas said since moving to New Waterford she has done better and she now has a fifth grand baby.

Additionally, Lucas’ eldest sister appeared before the judge and said she has seen her sister after she got out of prison before and she was in worse physical shape than when she entered prison. Her sister asked for intensive rehabilitation, noting she does not believe sending people with addiction problems to prison helps them at all.

However, Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart asked for the 11-month prison sentence, stating Lucas has completed the EOCC program before, the facility where she was sent after violating terms of her community control. She has continued to offend.

Washam noted there have been a series of graduated penalties for Lucas. He noted he agreed with Lucas’ sister, who had spoken earlier in the hearing and said she believes it has to do with the environment Lucas puts herself in.

“You’ve been to prison twice and that didn’t stop you,” Washam said. “Only you can stop you.”

These charges against Lucas were from Oct. 4, when she tried to hide a metal smoking device from investigators, had less than five grams of cocaine in her possession and was driving with a suspended license.

Washam noted the pre-sentencing investigation indicated continued drug use by Lucas, even after her arrest and brief stay in the county jail on these charges.