Violations by Wilmington man lead to 11-month prison term

By Gary Huffenberger -




WILMINGTON — After completing the STAR program, a defendant later used meth and alcohol at the WEBN fireworks show last fall, reportedly overdosed on Christmas Eve last winter, and in March he claimed he ingested meth while in jail.

So, at a court hearing this month, his term of community controls was revoked and Nickolaus Kyle Garrison, 31, of Wilmington, received an 11-month prison term.

In March of 2017, Garrison was placed on community control sanctions for two years after he was found guilty of possessing heroin and possessing buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction.

Originally, prosecution stated it would stand silent at sentencing if Garrison didn’t violate terms of his bond. However, he did not appear for the sentencing hearing in January 2017, which was a violation of his release on bond. Thus at the March sentencing hearing, the assistant prosecutor objected to the sentence of community controls.

In sentencing Garrison to community controls, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck noted the defendant had served a prior term in prison and had previously completed the STAR program. After successfully completing STAR at that time, Garrison violated terms of community control and was returned to prison.

The judge stated Garrison had been assessed for admission into the STAR program again, adding the program and facilities had changed since the defendant completed the program previously.

Garrison this time spent 125 days in the STAR Community Justice Center facility — a residential alternative to prison with the primary purpose of rehabilitation of non-violent, felony offenders.

After he completed STAR and then several weeks later used meth and drank alcohol at the fireworks show, Garrison voluntarily reported his actions to a supervision officer, after which he tested positive for amphetamines. This was his first community control violation in this case.

At this juncture, Garrison was encouraged to consider applying to the You-Turn Drug Court docket, and was also advised he might be evaluated for admission into the STAR Relapse Program — a separate program than what he had completed. He was deemed a suitable candidate for the STAR Relapse Program.

According to a court paper, the defendant was not interested in taking part in the You-Turn Recovery Drug Court docket. Further, he believed the STAR Relapse Program was not necessary, stated the court paperwork.

For the first violation of community controls, Rudduck did not revoke the term of community controls, without objection from prosecution. A more restrictive and longer set of community control sanctions was put into place, stated a court document.

Following the defendant’s reported overdose Christmas Eve, he did not contact probation and failed to report to the supervision department fort two months, a second violation of community controls.

By mid-March, Garrison was incarcerated at the Clinton County Jail, and a corrections officer suspected he was under the influence of a narcotic after being observed eating shampoo. Garrison claimed he used meth while in the jail, according to a court paper, although law enforcement could not confirm the use.

At the April court hearing, Rudduck stated the defendant had proven himself to not be amenable to local community controls at this time.

“Given his criminal history, and high risk of recidivism, the public remains at risk unless defendant changes his lifestyle, something defendant apparently declines to change,” wrote the judge.

Time credit was granted toward the prison term for 239 days Garrison served in custody on the case.

At two other recent sentencings in common pleas:

• Bryce D. Ballein, 26, of Hillsboro, was re-sentenced to an 18-month prison term after violating community control terms twice. The original case dates back to November 2014 when Ballein trafficked fentanyl in Clinton County. The 18-month prison term was pronounced at an August 2015 sentencing hearing. A court document states the term was the exact prison term recommended by both prosecution and defense counsel in a plea agreement, with express approval of law enforcement.

After being granted an early judicial release from prison in December 2015, Ballein was placed on community controls for five years. Ballein later was found to have violated community controls by testing positive for the use of illegal drugs in March 2018 and for failing to report to his supervision officer in March 2018.

The re-imposed prison term is to run concurrently with 36-month and 18-month consecutive prison terms also re-imposed in Highland County, according to a court paper. The defendant was granted time credit for 328 days spent in custody on the Clinton County case.

During his term of community controls, Ballein completed the STAR program and the STAR Relapse Program.

• Amber D. Cox, 34, of Dayton, who pled guilty to possessing drugs in Clinton County, was sentenced to a suspended six-month jail term and placed on community controls for two years. One component of her community controls is that she is required to complete the STAR Community Justice Center program. She was awarded time credit for 15 days in jail on the case.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.



By Gary Huffenberger