'Magic mushroom' dealer rejected from Teen Challenge

Cary Ashby • Jun 16, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Teen Challenge rejected the convicted drug dealer from its program.

Now Norwalk resident Heather M. Hodgkinson, 33, will be screened for possible acceptance into a community-based correctional facility. Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said Teen Challenge didn't accept Hodgkinson, but didn't say why in court this week. Teen Challenge is a Christian-based program for people of all ages with life-controlling addictions and takes 12 to 14 months to complete.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said the state didn't have any objection to Hodgkinson being screened for a CBCF. If she's rejected, she would have to come back to court for another sentencing hearing -- which would be her third since May 21.

"Going into it with a good attitude does make a difference," Conway told Hodgkinson, referring to her CBCF screening interview.

Conway ruled he won't impose a mandatory fine as part of Hodgkinson's three years of probation since defense attorney James Joel Sitterly said his client recently lost her Social Security and other benefits due to being behind bars.

"She was indigent going into it, so I don't see a problem," Woodruff said.

On April 10, a jury found Hodgkinson guilty of three counts of trafficking in "magic mushrooms." The Huron County Sheriff's Office coordinated the drug buys on Sept. 11, 13 and 17, 2012, all of which involved the same confidential informant and took place in or outside a Monroeville apartment where Hodgkinson was living at the time. The defendant didn't testify during her trial.

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