Mother asks judge for drug addiction help for daughter, 25, of Salem

LISBON – Making a plea for her daughter’s life, Brenda Hamilton asked for drug addiction help for her daughter, Danielle Stanley, who was appearing before Judge Scott Washam in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court facing two counts of possession of drugs.

Hamilton told Washam she has been trying to help her daughter battle addiction for more than a year. At one point she had enrolled her in a drug program in Cleveland, but then brought her back to Columbiana County.

“I believe she should be drug tested more often,” Hamilton said, who then looked at her daughter and added, “And you may be mad at me for saying this. We have a huge problem in our city and the surrounding cities. We need to stand up, or we’re going to lose all our children.”

Stanley, 25, New Garden Avenue, Salem, was in court on Friday morning with a plan to plead guilty to the two fifth-degree felony drug possession charges for having both heroin and meth in her purse during a traffic stop on July 25, 2013. Stanley and her defense attorney Jennifer Gorby had hopes of receiving intervention in lieu of conviction, which would have meant avoiding incarceration, possible counseling and probation time.

However, while in the process of pleading Stanley admitted she used heroin within the past couple days. She also reportedly told the probation officer conducting her presentencing investigation on that date she had also used heroin in the past couple days. Those admissions drew red flags from both Washam and Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble.

Gamble suggested instead of just probation, Stanley be sent to the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center. He noted she appears to be high risk for recommitting drug-related crimes, and he believed she may be using even more frequently than she was admitting.

“There’s going to have to be a way for her to physically remove herself,” Gamble said, noting, “This is not a way of punishing her, but a way to give her the best chances of succeeding during her intervention program.”

Stanley qualified for the EOCC, something Gamble said is currently nearly impossible to do with new evaluation guidelines in place. However, there was no bed available at the EOCC until June 24.

Gamble then suggested he was against letting her stay at home until then, even on electronically monitored house arrest. Gamble noted there would be no way to control who came and went from her home.

“Her mother has grave concerns and has not given up on this woman yet,” Gamble said. “But unless she is in an environment that is controlled… We are trying to save this woman’s life.”

Washam agreed telling Stanley that he feared if he allowed her to go stay at her father’s home as she planned, she would not survive. Instead he had her taken into the custody of the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office and sent to the county jail with another hearing scheduled for May 15. Washam said he hopes another bed may become available by then at the EOCC.