Salem meth cook gets 6 years

LISBON – A Salem woman accused of cooking methamphetamines in a home with small children and elderly people living there also was sentenced Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to six years in prison.

Tyia R. Patchen, 25, last known address South Howard Avenue, Salem, pleaded guilty in December to illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs and illegal manufacturing of drugs.

She faced a mandatory prison term of at least four years, but it could have been up to 19 years, and a $35,000 fine. Her license will be suspended for five years.

“Our county has a very serious drug problem and you are contributing to that,” said Judge C. Ashley Pike after sentencing Patchen. “I am impressed with what you had to say today,” Pike said, before calling it a step in the right direction.

Before sentencing Patchen read a written statement talking about knowing her bad choices have repercussions and that she has worked before, attended counseling and knows how to stay sober. She also noted she knows she needs to be careful with whom she surrounds herself.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, both Patchen and her boyfriend are accused of making meth in the house. Both elder services and children’s services were contacted about the smells coming from the home and the people living there.

“I think the most appalling part of this case is the two elderly adults and two young children, one under 2 and another age 3, who were living there,” Weikart said. Weikart said there was also a teenage boy living in the home.

After the hearing, Weikart noted a Salem officer testified at one hearing that when authorities went to the home to check on the residents the odors were so strong the residents were all transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Court documents state the two small children living in the home were Patchen’s children.

Patchen’s boyfriend, Stephen Smith, was also charged with the same felony one and felony two charges in regards to the production of methamphetamines, which reportedly happened during the months of January and February in 2013.