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Despite plea for his kids, heroin defendant gets sent to prison for being kicked out of treatment facility

Cary Ashby • May 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM

John D. Marsillett was in fear of losing his children if he was sent to prison.

"My biggest fear is losing my kids. My kids is all I have," he told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

"I've been clean since August," said the Sandusky man, pointing out he's tested negative for drugs multiple times.

After trying to create a stable home environment, Marsillett said his next goal is to find a job -- something he's been trying to do.

Marsillett is in the middle of a custody case in Huron County Juvenile Court.

Defense attorney David Longo said Marsillett's wife now is in the Huron County Jail, awaiting an indictment on illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. Longo said if she remains jailed and Marsillett goes to prison for a probation violation, Marsillett's children could be adopted and taken away even though their father has been trying to comply with the unification plan through juvenile court.

"He's reached the end of the line as far as his kids are concerned," Longo said.

Despite it all, Conway sentenced Marsillett, 27, to 10 months in prison Monday for violating his probation. On March 30, he was kicked out of a community-based corrections facility (CBCF) after not completing the program that focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

In late January, Marsillett and his two Huron County accomplices were ordered to complete a four- to six-month term in a CBCF as part of their probation for heroin-related convictions. The three men were arrested during an Aug. 23 traffic stop when they were coming back from Columbus, where they bought heroin.

Marsillett's probation officer, Dexter Chandler, was notified via fax about the defendant getting kicked out of the Crossweah CBCF in Tiffin. Chandler told the court that the defendant didn't complete the court-ordered program due to his "emotional instability" and the potential of harming himself. Longo said it's true the CBCF kicked out Marsillett, but said his client was "medically cleared."

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper requested an eight-month prison term for Marsillett's probation violation.

"There are no (other) community control sanctions available for this defendant," Kasper said.

Marsillett could have faced as much as a year in prison.

The judge ruled Marsillett would be part of the risk reduction program, meaning he could be released after spending 80 percent of his 10 months behind bars if he completes the prison's substance abuse treatment program. Conway also cleared the defendant to be eligible to be released into a halfway house.

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