Two locals have drug relapses


WILMINGTON — Two of those diverted from sentencing and placed in the “You-Turn” Recovery Docket, a drug court, recently failed drug tests and may be facing removal from the program.

Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck scheduled resolution hearings for Zachary Shoemaker and Melissa Irwin on June 15 and June 10, respectively. Shoemaker, who recently spent nine days in jail, was released until June 15. Irwin, who has been in jail for three days, was remanded to custody.

Drug courts divert sentencing and instead try to find alternative methods to rehabilitate drug offenders, such as counseling and medication-assisted treatment.

At the resolution hearing, Rudduck will determine what to do about their relapses into using drugs. Those options may include revoking their community controls and imposing suspended prison terms, kicking them out of drug court, ordering them to attend STAR Community Justice Center or other options.

The offenses marked the second violation of community controls for each.

Rudduck appeared disappointed that neither one admitted to a relapse until confronted with a positive drug test.

Shoemaker admitted to snorting a cap of heroin at a Port William party. Before the proceedings he looked out into the gallery at family members.

“I was just so disgusted with myself. I let myself down, my family down,” he said. “I finally did admit to it because there was nothing I could do.”

Citing experiences with other probation departments, he said “I’m scared because of what I’ve dealt with in the past.”

“I don’t want to give up on you,” said Rudduck. “You need to get going with your life. … You’ve got a family that loves you, needs you and supports you.”

Irwin admitted to using meth, and a home visit by probation officers discovered liquor, beer and a marijuana pipe that her boyfriend allegedly admitted to owning. Also there was a man who had an active warrant in Clermont County. Irwin said she didn’t know the items were there and said the man told her he had no active warrants for his arrest.

Rudduck told Irwin that drug court would require an attitude change from her and asked if she’d rather go to the STAR Community Justice Center. She said no, unless it was necessary.

“Maybe prison is what’s going to shock you” to do what’s right, he said. “Don’t play games with me.”

After the hearings, Rudduck continued with the drug court program.

All of them are currently proceeding well, except for one missed appointment.

Rudduck asked each what they thought of the hearings.

“It was a good reminder not to get complacent,” said David Key. “It’s beneficial to me to see how easy it is” to make a mistake.

Key told Rudduck he had a job interview, and Rudduck said he would vacate Key’s remaining community service if he were to get the job and had a good report from his treatment team.

Key attributed his progress to finding a higher power. He also said the Vivitrol is helping him.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.