Defendant says she's 'headed in a positive direction'

Cary Ashby • May 11, 2014 at 6:07 AM

A woman convicted of taking advantage of an elderly victim during a checks-related crime said her "life is headed in a positive direction."

"I'm staying out of trouble," defendant Megan R. Wiseman said at her sentencing hearing Thursday.

Wiseman, who has a history of substance abuse, is in the middle of a Suboxone treatment. According to suboxone.com, it's used to suppress withdrawal symptoms from "opioid dependence-addiction" and reducing related cravings.

"I've been attending AA meetings; I even have a sponsor," Wiseman said.

In April, the defendant, 25, of 200 Benedict Ave., pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in exchange for prosecutors dismissing one count of forgery. Wiseman committed the checks-related incident June 21 when she was on probation through Norwalk Municipal Court.

"She literally got caught at the bank. She didn't get it done," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said about the forgery allegation.

"I genuinely believe she's trying to get her life back on track," Longo added.

The public defender said he doesn't believe Wiseman was the main offender. Longo declined to say the male accomplice's name in court Thursday because he believes his office is representing the suspect in a different case.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway ruled Wiseman knew the female victim, who is older than 70, "from the past" and took advantage of the dementia issues she has.

The judge said he turned down Wiseman's request for drug intervention due to her various probation violations through municipal court. Earlier in the hearing, the defendant said she realizes now she didn't take her community control sanctions seriously. As part of the intervention program, defendants won't have a conviction on their record if they successfully complete a certified substance abuse program.

On Thursday, Wiseman was sentenced to 60 days in the Huron County Jail on the work release program. Credited with already serving 11 days, she will serve the 49 days once an open slot is available. Wiseman's probation officer has the discretion of when to start an additional 60-day sentence or can ask the judge to waive it if she does well on community control.

She isn't allowed to have any association with the victim or be on her premises during her three years of intensive probation. Wiseman, who is subject to random drug screens, was fined $250.

Conway warned Wiseman he expects her to take her community control sanctions seriously because there are "more dire circumstances." If she violates the terms of her probation, she faces one year in prison.

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