Galion man sentenced to 48 months on drug, other charges

Joshua Kohls said he became addicted to meth after car crash

BUCYRUS — Joshua Kohls, 38, of Galion faced sentencing Wednesday in Crawford County Common Pleas Court. With his attorney, Brad Starkey, by his side, Kohls shared his story of addiction to methamphetamines.

A massage therapist by trade and mixed martial artist who volunteers time in the gym, Kohls told Judge Sean Leuthold meth was the worst thing that ever happened to him.

Kohls, who also lived in Columbus, said he was in a serious car accident, leaving him with two broken feet. Unable to take care of himself or pursue his love of fitness, he moved back to Galion. That’s where some old high school friends introduced him to meth.

His addiction, which lasted four months, landed him with charges of obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. He said in four months he lost 30 pounds.

After listening to Kohls, Leuthold shared his thoughts on methamphetamines.

“The long and short of it is that heroin comes from all over. Cartels have dumped cheap meth into the country. This stuff eats you alive,” Leuthold said. “You can’t sleep, you’re hyped up, aggressive and agitated. You can have hallucinations and become violent and dangerous. The stuff fries your brain. I am not going to let this get a foothold in Crawford County.”

Giving credit to Kohls for his honesty and willingness to take responsibility for his actions, Leuthold imposed a 48-month sentence.

“You came in here and told your story and you were straight with me. We will do everything we can to help you,” Leuthold said.

In other court news, Billy Riddle II, 34, of Galion, turned down a plea offer and will take his case to trial.

He is charged with the illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility, a third-degree felony and faces up to 36 months in prison. Riddle also has 698 days of a prior prison sentence he must serve.

The prosecution had offered Riddle 18 months in prison.

“You have every right to a jury trial. However, as of today the plea deal that was offered to you is off the table,” Leuthold said.

An insubordinate Riddle told Leuthold: “I’ll take 12 months flat, today.”

Leuthold replied: “You don’t talk to me about any deal, you talk to your lawyer. The state has made it clear that 18 months is the only offer being made to you.”

Ashley Smith, 32, of Crestline, pleaded guilty to theft and was ordered to pay restitution. Smith admitted stealing $13,684 from EMC Insurance and $380 from the Automated Petroleum Company. She was placed on five years of community control. If Smith fails to pay restitution, she could go to prison.

Darryl Keller, 33, of Bucyrus, will spend seven months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of drugs. He was ordered to pay a $1,250 fine and must forfeit all drug-related property to the Bucyrus Police Department.

Deshawnte Alexander, 25, of Cleveland, was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of drugs. He was ordered to pay a $1,250 fine and forfeit all drug-related property to the Crestline Police Department.

Jerry Cameron, 55, of Bucyrus will spend 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft and a probation violation. He admitted receiving $5,376 in unemployment payments that he was not entitled to receive. He must make restitution to Job and Family Services. He was given until March 23 at 7 p.m. to report to the Crawford County Sherriff’s Office for transport to prison.
Joshua Kohls admitted being addicted to meth after car crash


By Kathy Laird

Crawford County Now