New heroin trafficking charges for convicted baby-shaker

Cary Ashby • Dec 12, 2012 at 9:24 AM

A rural Norwalk man with a lengthy history of recent drug convictions is accused of selling heroin twice.

Daniel Skodny, 29, of 4281 Laylin Road, is charged with two counts of trafficking in heroin. Each of the fifth-degree felonies is punishable by six to 12 months behind bars and a $2,500 fine.

Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara said the Norwalk Police Department coordinated two controlled drug buys that reportedly involved two doses of heroin each time on Jefferson Street. The suspected offenses happened Nov. 10 and 11.

Skodny was arrested and transported to the Huron County Jail.

In early October 2011, Skodny was ordered to spend up to six months in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF), a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. He is on three years of probation for a trafficking in cocaine conviction through Huron County Common Pleas Court.

The March 18, 2011 offense happened while Skodny was on probation through Norwalk Municipal Court for a possession of marijuana case. Huron County Public Defender David Longo had said financial stress was the reason Skodny was involved in the cocaine case.

"He wasn't making enough money to make ends meet at his father's bike shop," Longo said in October 2011.

Between the time Skodny pleaded guilty to the cocaine case in late August 2011 and being sentenced, he was convicted of possession of drug abuse instruments for a Sept. 3, 2011 incident. Skodny was on a bicycle at the time. Officer Paul Gardner, when stopping Skodny to talk to him, found syringes in the backpack he was wearing, marijuana in a baggie in his front pants pocket and some rolling papers in his wallet.

Skodny was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $300. The court also suspended his driver's license for six months. Also as part of his two years of probation, Skodny was ordered to have no convictions.

When being sentenced for selling cocaine, Skodny told Judge Jim Conway that he didn't want "anything to do with anybody who has anything to do with drugs" and claimed "I did what I did to support my kids," referring to his children, who were then 4 and 6. "I've gotten away from drugs," he added.

When sentencing Skodny to probation, Conway told him the programs at the CBCF will help him obtain job skills, keep him sober and help him tackle his drug addiction.

When presenting information to the judge about the cocaine case, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said: "Mr. Skodny is no stranger to common pleas court," referring to a highly-publicized shaken-baby case from several years ago.

Skodny was the subject of an investigation involving his then-5-month-old daughter in cases that went through common pleas and juvenile courts.

His infant daughter was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center and hospitalized with shaken baby syndrome (SBS) injuries such as retinal and cranial bleeding. The baby was in Skodny's care when the mother, Harlow, was at work during the February 2005 incident.

After the case was tried in the fall of 2006 in juvenile court, a judge ruled the girl was the victim of SBS.

Then in December 2006 in common pleas court, Skodny pleaded no contest to attempted child endangering in exchange for prosecutors dropping the more serious felony charges of felonious assault and child endangering. Skodny was sentenced to one year of probation with no jail time.

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