Distraught drug defendant accused of accepting pill from CBCF client

Cary Ashby • Jul 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM

A woman who was distraught over the death of her child's father is accused of violating the terms of being in substance abuse treatment.

Former New London resident Chelsey M. McCullough, 25, is being held without bond in the Huron County Jail. She stipulated Tuesday there is probable cause she violated her probation.

"She was on judicial release for a 23-month prison sentence," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said.

After being released early from prison in early February, McCullough was transferred to Crosswaeh, a community-based corrections facility in Tiffin. Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

McCullough was about 30 days from graduating from the program when she was kicked out on an allegation she accepted a pill from another CBCF client.

"There were some mitigating circumstances," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said. "She didn't relapse. She didn't take any drugs."

McCullough was very depressed over the June 30 death of a Bellevue man — the father of her son — when the other CBCF client offered McCullough "a caffeine pill" to boost her spirits, Longo said. The public defender said authorities determined the pill was actually Tramadol, which his client didn't use, but he said McCullough also didn't have the clarity of mind to tell the woman to go away or not accept the pill.

"She physically accepted it and put it in her locker. ... It was found in her locker," Longo said.

McCullough said she had been testing clean during drug screens for six months before the incident.

"It's the only sanction I had until this happened," she told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

"They had a job set up for me," added McCullough, who was supposed to be living in a "sober-living facility" in Lorain after leaving the CBCF.

Conway asked the defendant if she was willing to put forth a good effort at the CBCF -- if the facility agreed to re-accept her.

"I'd be willing to do whatever it takes," said McCullough, who also said the CBCF had done a lot of good for her.

While in prison, McCullough obtained her GED and regularly attended church and substance abuse programs. She planned to attend college in the fall.

In September 2012, a jury -- after two full days of testimony and 2 1/2 hours of deliberation -- found McCullough guilty of two counts each of selling heroin and morphine to a confidential informant whom she had contacted by texting.

Then in mid-May 2013, McCullough pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. The conviction was for a March 30, 2013 traffic stop when Trooper Thomas Halko stopped her for a lane violation when she was eastbound on Ohio 18. The court sentenced McCullough to 23 months in prison -- six months for the possession of heroin conviction and 17 months for a series of probation violations.

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