Drug defendant asks judge for 'shot' at out-patient treatment

Defense attorney: "He's missed the birth of his child. He's never met his child. This is a huge wake-up call for him."
Cary Ashby
Aug 31, 2013


Greenwich resident Dustin S. Howell asked the judge for a "chance" and a "shot" at out-patient substance abuse treatment.

"I know I don't deserve it," the 27-year-old defendant said Wednesday.

Instead of out-patient treatment, Howell was ordered to spend four to six months in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF).

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway told the defendant he sounds like he's interested in turning his life around so he could benefit from time in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. The judge also said Howell could learn some life skills, including anger management, at the locked-down facility.

As part of his three years of intense probation, Howell was fined $500 and must reimburse the Huron County Sheriff's Office $80 to cover the cost of drug testing.

The defendant, whose driver's license was suspended for six months, also must work toward completing his GED. Howell said he has to retake the math portion of the test.

Earlier in Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker said Howell is willing to seek treatment for a "significant drug problem," which dates back to when he was a juvenile. She said the state couldn't recommend out-patient treatment because it's likely Howell would return to the same lifestyle that led to a "fairly lengthy" juvenile and misdemeanor record, which includes numerous probation violations.

Howell is serving a 180-day sentence for a domestic violence conviction through Norwalk Municipal Court, according to jail records. In early March, he pleaded no contest to the Feb. 18 incident and was fined $200.

"He's missed the birth of his child. He's never met his child. This is a huge wake-up call for him," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said.

On July 2, Howell pleaded guilty in common pleas court to attempted illegal conveyance of contraband into a detention facility and a separate charge of possession of oxycodone.

He turned himself into the Huron County Jail on several warrants Feb. 11. Shenker had said the defendant smuggled several pills into the facility by placing them in his body and then hid the drugs under the bed in his cell. A corrections officer seized the pills as evidence.

The oxycodone conviction is for a Feb. 18 incident when police responded to a domestic disturbance at Howell's residence. Shenker had said there was an argument with his wife over Howell's drug use.


swiss family

I think that he headline should be changed to " Same ole Bull#$@t... here you have a guy who has caused trouble his entire life, and only now. when h is incarcerated, does he tell the Judge.."I want to change my life around".. isn't it a strange coincidence that your change of heart, just happens to be when you got busted???
Honestly Judge, Please take a class, or read a book on what any addict will tell you when they have their backs against the wall.. they will tell you exactly what you want to hear.. that is what addicts are known for.. so for you to continue to hope, and believe in all that any addict tells you, is not a bad trait of the addicts, it is more about how you blindly trust criminals who are facing prison time, into believing the beautiful picture that they paint in their head, and want you to believe every word of it
you know... "fool me once Judge, shame on them... fool you hundreds of times Judge and shame on you..


Agreed! Well said!


you guys are idiots the judge has to f follow sentencing guidelines, besides it's a PROVEN fact it's far cheaper to send someone to "rehab" then pay fir incarceration. it's all about dollars and cents maybe if any of you understood that in your small brains you could make sense

swiss family

Oh "MR PERFECT>.... why is it that you believe everything that "they" tell you??? you probably believe that it costs more to put a prisoner to death than it is to incarcerate them for life too.... when anyone with even a few working brain cells ( no offense you you, of course)can clearly see that a bullit costs about 21 cents.. and that will do the job

You probably believe that addiction is a disease too... right?? wow you really need to exercise your brain muscles Mr P....I will give to props the judges have to follow certain guidelines.. and if someone does X their punishment is X... but the bigger than life problem in Huron county, that you seem oblivious too.. is that when someone comes before our Judge, and Prosecution team, with them committing the X crime... before they are sentenced.. the Judge and Prosecutor has reduced the X crime down to a B crime.. and they are judged according to that... they also then , the next time the same criminal comes up again, they look at his/her record, and determine their sentence according to all of the leniently reduced crimes that they reduced it down to themselves and say "they don't really have a bad criminal history"!!!!

I am sorry Mr. P... but you are not paying attention... but I do not want to take away all of your blind trust.. so if you need to believe in something.. you can still clap for Tinkerbell....in my opinion

Scranton Tibbs

"I know I don't deserve it"....CORRECT, YOU DON'T. Missed the birth of your kid, never met your kid? Boo hoo, shouldn't have smuggled drugs into the jail. That kid is probably better off without you in it's life.