LISBON - A 23-year-old Leetonia woman was sentenced in Columbiana County Municipal Court Thursday to 180 days in jail for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after taking her mother's car with permission to do so for only a short time and then failing to return it within 48 hours.
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey, Megan Detchon was taken into custody in a disreputable neighborhood in Youngstown, where she was with her boyfriend, who is a registered sex offender, and her 2 1/2-year-old daughter.
The boyfriend, Brooks Cartwright, 31, Rush Boulevard, Youngstown, was in court earlier in the week when he was bound over to the county grand jury on a charge of failure to notify authorities of his change of address as a registered sexual offender.
Detchon has been in custody for 10 days on the felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge and was credited with that time served. While Humphrey and her defense attorney Eric Kibler recommended a plea agreement where she would serve only another 10 days, Judge Mark Frost did not suspend the remaining jail time. He did set the matter for review on Feb. 4, which would leave her serving at least another 11 days.
Humphrey said the days Detchon serves will afford time for her mother to find her another place to stay, hopefully with a substance abuse treatment program. Detchon passed a drug test ordered by Frost, but the judge did note she has already been in custody for some time.
Humphrey said there are additional issues including possible credit card misuse, which are being investigated, but no charges have been filed.
Another concern held by Humphrey was a claim by Detchon that she is currently pregnant. Detchon confirmed her belief of a pregnancy in the courtroom, adding she thinks Cartwright is the father and she could be more than eight months along. But she also admitted her condition has not yet been diagnosed by a physician. Detchon said a nurse at the jail has set her up an appointment with a doctor.
"I don't want the county paying for the delivery of this baby," Humphrey said of his recommendation for 10 days to serve with the remaining 160 suspended.
Detchon's daughter is reportedly now in the custody of grandparents, as ordered by Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Baronzzi. Frost said when Detchon is released she is not to interfere with the custody situation. Additionally he said when she is placed on probation he will order her to stay away from Cartwright and undergo more drug testing.
"The guy you were hanging around with that day has a record of doing bad stuff," Frost said to Detchon. "You took your daughter to a neighborhood with a bad reputation. That's where people get shot, you know that?"
Detchon piped up that she actually believed the south side of Youngstown to be one of the better areas in the city.
"Your mother was put into a position of doing something she probably didn't want to do," Frost said of the mother's decision to file charges, "but she did it because she loved her daughter and her granddaughter."
Frost continued that he was very concerned Detchon believes she is as much as eight and a half months pregnant, but had yet to see a doctor.
"There are drugs in this case, whether it's you or your boyfriend," Frost added. "I hope for the sake of your unborn child, it's not you."
The plea agreement included reducing the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge from a felony to a first-degree misdemeanor.