3 tied to alleged meth lab bound over to grand jury

LISBON – Three New Waterford residents charged after the Columbiana County Drug Task Force reportedly found a methamphetamine lab in a Silliman Street home, appeared in Columbiana County Municipal Court Monday and were each bound over to the grand jury on charges of possession of chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs.

Bradley A. Carpenter, 28, who lists several addresses on court documents including Walnut Street, Salem, and Bowman Road, Homeworth, testified on his own behalf at the preliminary hearing despite his attorney cautioning him against it. Despite Carpenter’s testimony denying his involvement, Judge Mark Frost determined there was enough evidence to proceed to the grand jury with the felony case.

Two other defendants Daniel L. Todd II, 34, state Route 558, Columbiana, and Heidi L. Todd, 33, of Silliman Street, New Waterford, both waived their rights to preliminary hearings and were bound over. Bond for Heidi Todd is set at $25,000, and Daniel Todd at $100,000. Following Carpenter’s testimony, his bond was increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

The owner of the house, Chelsea Cope, 35, East Taggart Street, East Palestine, also appeared Monday on three misdemeanor cases and after two hours of negotiations between the Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones and Cope’s attorney Eric Kibler, no acceptable agreement was reached.

Frost explained in light of other evidence the court had received he had concerns about whether he would follow any plea agreement.

He explained in mid-February, Cope had taken a urine test, which those charged with drug-related offenses are often required to do. According to cell phone records, Cope allegedly sent a text message to others requesting “clean” urine for her upcoming test. Frost read aloud another text message allegedly from Daniel Todd to Jill Fulton which reportedly said “She is lucky it only had marijuana in it. If it had been hers it would have had meth, heroin and pills.”

After Cope took her urine test, court officials reportedly found an empty container they believe she brought with her into the bathroom.

Cope is currently charged in three cases in County Municipal Court, all for drug-related offenses. The oldest charge is from 2012, a possession of drug paraphernalia (not marijuana) charge. The second set of charges are possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia. Third, she was charged with possession of a drug abuse instrument on Feb. 21.

Additionally, Cope is facing a possession of drugs charge from 2012 in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, along with a 2013 charge of deception to obtain drugs, for allegedly filling her husband’s prescription for her own use while he was incarcerated. The 2012 charge is scheduled to go to trial in June.

Kibler noted her attorney in Common Pleas Court may be filing an intervention in lieu of conviction plea, where Cope would receive drug treatment. He was considering if she would be eligible for the same type of plea in County Municipal Court.

Kibler said Cope would be willing to be subject to weekly drug tests in return for signing a waiver of time on the charges and a reduced bond.

“With whose urine?” Frost questioned.

Without the time waiver, a pretrial was set for March 11 at 1 p.m. for the three cases in County Municipal Court with a court trial on one case set with the least amount of time left set for March 20.