Cocaine defendant sent to prison

For the last 15 years, Norwalk man has pattern of going to bar, getting drunk and then getting in fight, defense attorney says.
Cary Ashby
May 9, 2014


A Norwalk man who went to prison for a robbery almost 20 years ago was sent back to the slammer for a drug offense Wednesday.

In early March, Adewale A. Olaniyan, 37, of Norwalk, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine during a May 26 incident. Defense attorney Tom Nicholson said the situation started when his client asked for a bar owner's female relative and a fight ensued, most likely due to racial issues. Olaniyan is black.

For the last 15 years, Olaniyan has been in an ongoing pattern of going to a bar, getting drunk and then getting in some sort of fight, Nicholson said.

"It's a sad litany," he added.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway told Olaniyan there's a simple way to stop that pattern.

"It's not an unbreakable pattern -- don't go out to bars," the judge said.

Huron County Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said the state was prepared not to oppose Olaniyan being placed on probation and recommend a term in a community-based correctional facility, but he ended up testing at a moderate risk to re-offend. According to a recent change in state law, that means Olaniyan isn't eligible for acceptance into a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

As a result, Woodruff said the state had no choice but to recommend a prison sentence and have Olaniyan possibly released early into a CBCF. Olaniyan's attorney agreed, saying he hoped his client could go to a halfway house and get the life skills he needs.

"He has a plethora of misdemeanor charges. They all seem to be substance abuse-related," Woodruff said about Olaniyan's criminal record.

The defendant spent three years in prison for a 1995 robbery conviction.

At Wednesday's hearing, Olaniyan was sentenced to 11 months in prison. He also must reimburse the Norwalk Police Department $40 for lab testing and had his driver's license for six months.

Conway told the defendant he's likely to consider releasing him early from prison into a CBCF. Olaniyan can apply for judicial release 30 days after his arrival.



he's closing his eyes, clicking his heels together, saying, "there's no place like prison, there's no place like prison"..