A Norwalk man with a drunken driving conviction pleaded guilty Tuesday to having heroin residue during a search of his home.
Shane J. Nichols, 24, of 2850 Zenobia Road, was convicted of possession of heroin and will be sentenced Jan. 23.
"The state would not oppose community control in this case. This is his first felony," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker said.
Also, Shenker told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway the state likely would recommend a discretionary jail term depending on how well the defendant does on bond. Nichols, who earlier posted a $5,000 bond, faces six to 12 months behind bars. A discretionary jail term means the judge would impose a sentence, which could be served at the discretion of the defendant's probation officer who also could ask to have the jail term waived.
On April 11, the Huron County Sheriff's Office responded to a domestic disturbance at Nichols' home. Shenker said the property owner -- the defendant's grandfather -- reported his grandson had been using illegal drugs and requested deputies search the home.
"Drug paraphernalia was found in the bedroom the defendant used," Shenker said.
Deputies seized separate baggies containing a straw, spoon and paper, all with suspected heroin residue, as evidence for lab testing. Shenker said the police lab tested the items and determined there was a trace amount of heroin on the paper.
Last year, Nichols served a four-month sentence at the Huron County Jail for violating his probation by using then 3-year-old son's urine during a drug screen. The defendant was on the drug court program through Norwalk Municipal Court at the time for a driving under the influence conviction.
The DUI conviction was for a minor, two-vehicle collision Aug. 7, 2011 that involved a woman who was about seven months pregnant at the time. She later went to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with possible injuries; authorities said the woman "seemed to be doing great" and her unborn child also was OK.
Troopers with the state Highway Patrol, conducted a series of field sobriety tests on Nichols, which he failed. The driver also submitted a urine test, which tested positive later for amphetamine, troopers said. Keefer said Nichols' probation officer said the defendant was on a "bath salt binge" at the time of the crash on U.S. 250 at the Old State Road intersection.
Nichols, starting in mid-November 2011, served 30 days in jail for the DUI.