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Drug defendant seeking early release from prison

Cary Ashby • Jun 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM

A woman who was imprisoned for bringing a prescribed "mood stabilizer" into the Huron County Jail has been brought back from prison to be considered for early release.

Megan L. Derby, 26, most recently of 7 Adams St., has a hearing today in Huron County Common Pleas Court. She started serving a two-year prison term at the Northeast Pre-release Center on Sept. 12.

Derby, in mid-July, pleaded guilty to illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. The conviction is for an April 21, 2012 incident when she turned herself into the jail for a three-day sentence for a Norwalk Municipal Court probation violation.

While under surveillance at the jail, Derby started breathing abnormally and "her condition seemed to deteriorate," a prosecutor said earlier. Derby was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Corrections officers looked through the woman's clothes at the hospital and found 11 grams of prescription drugs.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo, in September, said the drugs had been prescribed to Derby, who didn't think she could sleep without them and didn't believe she could have access to them at the jail. The attorney described the drugs as a "mood stabilizer" and said they would be dangerous if they are abused, but aren't a "scheduled narcotic."

The day Derby entered her guilty plea, July 16, Common pleas Judge Jim Conway ordered her to report to the adult probation department for a drug screen. Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said Derby didn't go and when she was arrested two days later, she tested positive for marijuana and opiates.

Conway, who revoked Derby's $10,000 bond, has said he would seriously consider releasing the defendant early from prison and then have her placed in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF). A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education; defendants spend four to six months there.

"I think I would benefit from rehab," Derby said in September and admitted she has a "bad record."

Once Derby is released from prison, she will be on three years of parole.

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