BUCYRUS — Christine Hunter, 37, of Galion, was sentenced to 18 months in prison this week when she appeared before Crawford County Common Pleas Judge Sean Leuthold.
On July 20, 2017, Hunter tested positive for cocaine. According to court records, she gave birth one month early to a child addicted to cocaine. The baby weighed a little more than five pounds and was sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MedCentral Hospital in Mansfield.
The Judge asked Hunter if she thought the cocaine had anything to do with the premature birth of her son.
She replied: “possibly,” to which the judge shook his head in dismay.
“Just a few days ago I sentenced a man who was driving under the influence of opiates; a problem that gets little attention,” Leuthold said. “But here we have something much worse.”
As he read the sentencing guidelines to Hunter, Leuthold said, “I can’t stop thinking about this poor kid. Here we have a totally innocent victim, through no fault of his own, but the actions of his mother he has to come into this world addicted. My hope, my wish, my prayer is that this little boy has no residual effects, but sadly these situations create serious obstacles for children to overcome.”
He admonished Hunter to get herself together and use her time in prison to change. In conclusion Leuthold said, “It’s wrong and it’s disgraceful. The one who caused this to happen to this little boy is the one who was supposed to protect him, his own mother.”
In other court news, Brice Miller, 23, also of Galion, will spend nearly the next five years in prison. Miller was sentenced to 59 months in prison on felonious assault and drug possession charges. Miller was facing a total of nearly nine years in prison before his attorney, Adam Stone, and prosecutors worked out a deal. He also faces five years of post release control.
Miller was accused of dragging a woman with his vehicle after an altercation. He caused her serious injuries and a lengthy hospital stay. The woman did not appear in court to give a victim impact statement.
When asked if he had anything to say, Stone said, “We would like to thank the court, your honor, and the state for working out this deal for Mr. Miller. I am confident that he is ready to face his future and make some changes.”
When asked if he had anything to say, Miller replied: “I do apologize.”
Leuthold gave him some parting advice.
“There are a lot of good programs in prison, so get into them,” Leuthold said. “Hopefully you will change your life. You’re young and you seem like a smart person when you’re not using. I don’t tolerate drugs in Crawford County and I absolutely will not tolerate drug-induced violence in this county. You made a horrific mistake and today you’re going to pay for it”
In a hearing asking for a no-contact order to be lifted between two parents, Leuthold took the time to explain to the couple exactly what he expects from them in the future.
Paul Holmes, 33, of Bucyrus was convicted of felonious domestic violence. He appeared in court with his fiancée, Ashley, who supported the revocation of the no-contact order.
She explained that she and the defendant share a blended family of five children and have their own infant.
“So you have six children between the ages of one and 11 years old to care for?” asked Leuthold.
Holmes’ fiancé went on to explain that one child has very special needs and she needs help to care for the children while she works.
Leuthold turned to Holmes and said, “You need to get a job. You need to work a shift opposite of hers. You can’t raise a family on her salary. “
The Judge told Holmes he understood they are under a lot of stress and that probably things intensify when he decides to buy a twelve pack and drink.
“When things get tough Mr. Holmes, you have to get tougher,” Leuthold said. “You can’t be drinking around these kids. You need to be the perfect husband and the perfect father. You are not pulling your weight in this relationship.”
Before lifting the no contact order he warned Holmes, “I swear to God if you ever put your hands on this woman again, I will send you to prison. If you need a vacation from all the stress in your life, I’ll be happy to give you a nice long vacation in prison. Think about that before you start drinking under stress.”