Defendant with 'one helluva addiction' sent back to prison

Woman tells judge: "This has been an embarrassment to my family."
Cary Ashby
Feb 27, 2014


She's heading back to prison.

But her best friend doesn't think imprisonment will help her. She said she thinks an intense, year-long substance abuse treatment center would better suit Stephanie L. (Broz) Cleveland.

"Going to prison isn't going to help her," said Jonelle Cole, also Cleveland's colleague at the Elite School of Cosmetology in Norwalk. "Teen Challenge would be great for her."

Cole said she finds it unfair that other defendants convicted of fifth-degree felonies get county jail time on the work release program while Cleveland won't be able to finish school. First-time felons convicted of fourth- or fifth-degree felonies aren't eligible for prison terms. Cleveland, however, was sentenced in late September 2008 to three years in prison for selling heroin.

"She was doing so well in school," said Cole, the defendant's best friend.

Cleveland received a two-year prison term Wednesday.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said shoplifting from Kohl's in Cuyahoga County doesn't give him any faith Cleveland would succeed under probation. On Dec. 16, the judge revoked the defendant's $20,000 bond due to the theft.

Conway ruled Wednesday a consecutive sentence was necessary to help protect the community. Cleveland received eight months in prison for one count each of trafficking in Suboxone, possession of methadone and possession of heroin. She also must reimburse the Norwalk Police Department $80 to cover the cost of drug testing.

In June 2010, Cleveland was released early from prison into a community-based corrections facility, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. She completed the CBCF and a 12-step substance abuse program.

Cleveland told the judge that finding her sobriety wasn't easy.

She said she's "highly remorseful" for selling her own prescription.

"This has been an embarrassment to my family. ... They're disappointed by my actions," said Cleveland, who cried while reading her written statement.

The defendant's mother sat with her head down and in her hands in the courtroom after the sentencing hearing. She declined to comment.

"I'm not a monster; I'm an addict," Cleveland said.

On Nov. 21, 2012, Cleveland sold .1 gram of Suboxone to someone for $60. Then, on July 4, 2013, police found a small amount of methadone and heroin in her residence.

In her original drug case, Cleveland was arrested June 5, 2008 when she was returned from Columbus, where she bought 41 balloons, or doses, of heroin. Authorities said she called various people to make delivery arrangements as she returned to Huron County. Cleveland's son, who was 2 months old, was in the car when police made the Benedict Avenue traffic stop.

Cleveland's father and stepmother now have custody of both of her children.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has known Cleveland since the seventh grade when she played volleyball.

"She's a very talented young woman," said Leffler, who recommended a 22-month prison term. "But when she gets to selling drugs ... it becomes a serious problem."

Defense attorney Reese Wineman said there's no doubt his client "has a problem."

"I agree; she has potential," he added. "She has one helluva addiction. ... She needs long-term treatment."

The court ruled Cleveland is a good candidate for the risk-reduction program. That means if she successfully completes an in-house substance abuse program, she could be released from prison after serving 80 percent of her sentence.



Still a snitch. She's a hypocrit also.


Snitch snitch snitch...can you find another word in your vocabulary...


Well??? from the "LOOKS" of things.
Prison did do a wonderful thing for her, she had time to polish her hair, lose a little weight, clean up skin blemishes, she may win a pageant after the next stint?
Drugs are messing alot of people's lives up. Then the theft?
It has got to be the "me" "me" "i deserve" generation everyone talks about.

Everyone is fam...

Aww her best friend said it's not fair. Sorry girls, but someone should have informed you that life isn't fair.


Well everyone who is that a hypocrite name cause if you are close to.someone you will.want whats best for life aint fair but neither is being sentenced to prison where there is no help for addicts...


BUT!!!! Plenty of time to think!

Really are you ...

Plenty of time to think. Time to think about ways to not get caught as easy. A super support group to improve her skills. Quality spent time in prison to think about what she has done would be solitary confinement.

Everyone is fam...

What does this username have to do with being hypocritical? As far as help, if she wanted help, she would have looked for it. Now that she's caught, she wants "help". I'd debate more with you, but I don't have the time to decipher your crazy use of punctuation.


My crazy use of punctuation. If it was your family would you appreciate people talking about things they don't know really about. All you guys know is what you've read or heard. All about fam...

Sitting In The ...

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.....


It is an addiction, and also a crime! Wishing both the Broz and Cleveland families all the best in this difficult situation. Praying this young lady can conquer this addiction for the sake of her two precious boys. For now she is where she needs to be and only time will tell...let's be respectful of that!


Thank you for them kinds words. Because this affects everyone not just her. Addiction is a disease and if people would open their minds to it they wouldn't be so critical.

Cliff Cannon

@fedup2 : Amen


You are glamourizing drugs by showing the facebook photo.


Truckin must be a Norwalk lifer. The Me generation was about 30 years ago and he missed it.


This is ridiculous how many other no name addicts get easy sentences time and time again.


Easy how is this easy...this stuff happened starting over a year ago. And they indict her almost a year later after her life has changed. So how os that easy. Obviously you've never been to prison. 30 days isnt easy...

Everyone is fam...

This is what is easy: If you don't want to do the time, then don't do the crime.

That my dear is pretty easy.


Not that easy when your an addict... apparently you've never been one or have had family members that were. It's a vicious cycle. I pray you never have to see your loved ones go through this.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Exactly what makes this woman "talented"?


Apparently you don't know her so you wouldn't know. That girl is capable of doing anything she wants in life...good things..she help a 98 percent gpa and that's good for hair school. Its not as easy as people think.

Fibber Mcgee

??? 98% in hair school..


Yeah whats hard to understand about that...

Everyone is fam...

Changing the world one weave at a time!


Oh your so hilarious....apparently you don't get much done to your hair or you would know the effort and talent that goes into it to make it look nice...


Ok...I explained this to someone else. If you have a 98%-which is .98, this is LESS THAN a GPA of 1. GPA goes to 4. Even in High School. So this girl is rockin' a SOLID "D" average, and lower at times. So before you comment on GPA please try to understand it. Take some more math courses in hair school please. When someone says 2 inches off the top, I hope you can understand that.


Correct, I don't know her. Even though, I know a few people in Norwalk, and used to work there. I don't live there. Not to mention, a 98%, doesn't seem that high, unless it is by today's standards. It wasn't when I graduated in '83.


I went to "hair school" too , passed with a 4.0 GPA, not hard at all... P.S. it's called cosmetology.