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Norwalk woman turns down plea deal in 'magic mushroom' case

Cary Ashby • Apr 2, 2014 at 9:24 AM

A Norwalk woman has turned down a plea offer from prosecutors and is expected to take her case to trial next week.

Heather M. Hodgkinson, 33, of 107 E. Main St., Apt. 2, is charged with three counts of trafficking in psilocyn in connection with incidents on Sept. 11, 13 and 17, 2012 and will got to trial Tuesday. Psilocyn is the main ingredient in what's commonly called "magic mushrooms."

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway, at the beginning of Tuesday's hearing, said the state made a "very generous offer," but Hodgkinson wasn't willing to accept the plea deal. Defense attorney James Joel Sitterly confirmed that was the case, but asked how long the plea agreement was open.

After conferring briefly with Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker told the judge the plea deal only was available Tuesday.

"Once the plea is off the table, you can always plead to all the charges," Conway told Hodgkinson.

The judge requested the defendant enter a plea before jurors arrived for her trial Tuesday.

Shenker said she planned to file a motion to use Hodgkinson's criminal record against her if she testified. Due to the defendant having a prior felony conviction, she faces as much as six years in prison; Conway said the state had offered a one-year term.

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