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Woman gets early release from prison

Cary Ashby • Jan 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM

A woman who was serving a lengthy prison term for helping deal drugs in the local jail has been released early.

Angela R. Tuttle, 34, formerly of Akron, was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2012.

"I've been doing a lot of programs and working on myself the whole two years," she told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway on Monday.

She was convicted of three counts of trafficking various drugs for the circumstances March 9, 2012 that led to the death of fellow Huron County Jail inmate Jesika L. Skelton. The distribution of oxycodone, oxymorphone and Xanax caused several overdoses and led to the March 11, 2012 death of Skelton, 20, of Norwalk. Her death was ruled accidental.

Skelton's cellmate, Mindy L. Gallagher, 24, is serving an eight-year prison term at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. On July 31, 2012, she pleaded guilty to one count each of reckless homicide, trafficking in drugs and illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility plus a separate charge of theft.

Gallagher smuggled stolen pills and tablets into the jail in her vagina and traded them for commissary items. Authorities said the drugs belonged to a woman who was staying at the Norwalk Econolodge and Gallagher stole them, with the assistance of two male suspects -- her boyfriend and her cousin.

Tuttle, in a separate case, was convicted of possessing heroin during a Dec. 23, 2011 drug bust by the Huron County Sheriff's Office special response team and Bellevue Police Department at a Bellevue hotel. Authorities said she put heroin in her vagina as officers burst through the door.

Recently, Tuttle has been screened and accepted into Life Challenge, the Detroit branch of Teen Challenge. The Christian-based, year-long substance abuse program is for people of all ages with life-controlling addictions.

"We're willing to give her a chance," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said Monday.

Tuttle will be subject to random drug screens while on three years of probation. She will be supervised at a high level.

"I expect you to make a full effort," Conway, the judge, told Tuttle.

She will remain at the jail until her sister can pick her up Feb. 4 to drive her to Life Challenge.

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