With two criminal cases coming before the Highland County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, one defendant was granted an early release to treatment and another will not be sentenced until May.
Heather Applegate, 29, currently at the Dayton Correctional Institution, was granted judicial release to the STAR program.
She was sentenced to 24 months in prison in November after pleading guilty by a bill of information to third-degree felony illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.
As part of the plea agreement at the time, the state did not oppose judicial release to the STAR program after six months of incarceration.
Applegate said she is trying to “better” herself and she has tried to get into programs at the prison, but it’s been hard because wait lists are so long.
Judge Rocky Coss granted the early release and said that a bed was not available at the treatment facility until July 9. He said Applegate will remain in prison until that time.
The judge also noted a prior conviction in 2009. Applegate was sentenced at that time to probation and ordered to complete STAR, but failing the latter, ended up getting sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Coss said he was only just made aware of the prior conviction. He also told the defendant that this would be her last chance.
When asked why she failed the first time around, Applegate said she wasn’t ready to give up the lifestyle then, “but I am more than ready now.”
In another hearing, Ty Erskine, 38, of Bainbridge, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree felony aggravated possession of drugs.
He will be sentenced on May 7 following the completion of a presentence investigation.
The bill of information document indicates that the state and defense will negotiate sentencing.