Progress, arrest at drug court


Two progress on to higher level

By Nathan Kraatz - nkraatz@civitasmedia.com



By Nathan Kraatz

nkraatz@civitasmedia.com

WILMINGTON — While two people in Clinton County’s “You-Turn Recovery Docket” moved on to a higher phase on Friday, one left in handcuffs.

Randall Kerns was placed on You-Turn’s second phase, which requires less attendance and comes with a certificate and a $15 Subway gift card. Tammy Barnes went to the first phase, from the orientation phase.

Cheyenne Potts was remanded to custody until a hearing next week.

Kerns was successfully discharged from Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Center, completed his prison diversion program August 6 and became the first person to be put on the second phase of the drug court program.

On phase two, he will only be required to attend one drug court hearing a month, instead of two.

Barnes, too, had been successfully discharged from her treatment at Solutions. Rudduck elevated her to phase one. She previously completed a prison diversion program.

Potts tested positive for opiates, morphine specifically, on July 20, according to a lab test. Potts allegedly denied the positive result.

Potts said that in the past few weeks he’d been meeting with a mental health specialist and a group and has been experiencing ups and downs.

“Sometimes I feel stuff, your honor” he said. “I feel like I should have my license, and a job and out of my mom’s house.”

Rudduck told Potts to have patience and asked Potts how he came into possession of drugs.

Potts said someone came to him with the pill he took.

“I’m going to give you some time to think about your actions,” Rudduck said. “And I’m going to ask the (prosecutor) … about filing a motion to revoke. And I will schedule an expedited hearing next week.”

Rudduck said he would hope the county prosecutor would allow Potts to stay in drug court, but said Potts would have time to think about it in jail.

“I’m not going to give up on you today, but there has to be some sanctions here associated with this,” Rudduck said. “You’ve got to figure out why when the opportunity presents itself, you seem to mess up.”

Rudduck questioned Potts’ decision-making, and said, “I want you to think long and hard about staying in the drug court.”

Rudduck said drug court wasn’t about the 18 months he would be enrolled, but about the rest of his life.

“I’m disappointed, but I have not given up,” Rudduck said.

Potts has been to a halfway house and the STAR Community Justice Center previously.

Drug courts are specialized dockets that divert offenders from prison into a separate reform program.

The format is different than a traditional court. For one, Rudduck doesn’t wear his robe and is more casual. For another, Rudduck’s role doesn’t typically involve hearing evidence and sentencing people but encouraging rehabilitation through treatment, probation and monitoring.

For example, Rudduck said each of the participants would be responsible for sharing something – a quote or song, for instance – at a future meeting.

Ken Houghtaling, the intervention-in-lieu-of-conviction officer of the court, shared a Christian-based song about mercy (Mercy walked in, by Gordon Mote) and his story of recovering from alcoholism.

And, Traey Rockhold, one of the participants, shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,” Rockhold read. “But where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

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

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Two progress on to higher level

By Nathan Kraatz

nkraatz@civitasmedia.com