YOUNGSTOWN — The bad news for Elizabeth R. Warner this week is that her prison sentence for a conviction-endangering child criminal is 15 months in prison. The good news is that she only has to serve two months in prison before being released into a drug treatment program.
Warner, 27, from Beloit, and the father of her child, Corey Douglas, 32, were both charged after their 18-month-old daughter fell ill and had to be resuscitated with the anti-opiate drug naloxone on 24 February after ingesting fentanyl. The child is now in the care of his grandmother.
When Warner pleaded guilty to the prosecution, prosecutors and the defense agreed to recommend that Warner get nine months in prison. But when Assistant District Attorney Kevin Day mentioned Tuesday that Warner had already served about seven months in the Mahoning County Jail awaiting trial, Judge Anthony D’Apolito had to make some changes.
He had decided to send Warner to prison, but only for a short time, then grant an early release from prison and ask him to spend about six months in a treatment program. But to make it work with his reduction due to seven months of prison credit, he had to increase his overall sentence to 15 months, which he did.
Assistant county attorney Kevin Day said Warner deserves more consideration than Douglas because he bears more responsibility for the incident — because he “brought the drugs home and left them where the child could access them.”
He said Warner cooperated with prosecutors, although that doesn’t mean “Excuse Mrs. Warner’s actions in not watching her children” and does not excuse his inability to initially tell the police the truth about what happened.
Police said the couple and their child were staying in an RV behind a house on Johnson Road in Smith Township when the child needed medical attention. Police said the child’s lips were blue and she had a weak pulse and shallow breathing.
An officer administered artificial respirations and gave the child a dose of naloxone, an opioid reversal medication. The girl was then transported by ambulance to an Alliance hospital. She was later transferred to Akron Children’s Hospital, police said.
D’Apolito made sure Warner knew how Douglas’ sentencing hearing went, with the judge asking Douglas to be honest about what happened, and Douglas didn’t. did, which the judge felt he needed to do to begin the process of overcoming his drug. addiction. “I gave him many opportunities to be honest with me, and his lack of acceptance of responsibility is why I finally gave him the 18 months” in prison.
Warner then proceeded to read a statement to the judge which began: “Sorry for the pain I caused, especially my children.” But she became too emotional to continue reading, so the judge read the statement to himself and said he felt comfortable that she was remorseful for what had happened.
Warner told the judge she would get a sponsor and address her drug addiction when she got out of prison. The judge said jail wouldn’t help him with his addiction, but a treatment program upon his release might.
So the judge said he planned to let her out of jail after serving two months in prison and then place her in a treatment program. He has already set his court release hearing for November 2. If she is unsuccessful in her treatment, she will have to serve the remaining six months in prison.
“Thanks,” Warner said.