Judge gives addict chance for treatment

Clinton Randall Staff Writer clintonrandall@civitasmedia.com

December 11, 2013

GREENVILLE - Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein decided to give 21-year-old Kurtis M. Gillespie a chance at treatment rather than sending the young man to prison.

Gillespie appeared in court Thursday morning for sentencing after being convicted in October on one count of Burglary, a felony of the third degree, and a sole count of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, a fourth degree felony. Judge Hein sentenced Gillespie to 180 days in jail, with 120 days credit, and to be considered for Dayton’s MonDay Program.

The Arcanum graduate was originally indicted on the Burglary charge and one count of Grand Theft of a Firearm after Gillespie stole a .44 caliber rifle, a television and an XBox gaming system from a residence in February. The Grand Theft charge was later dismissed as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution. He was charged with Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor stemming from a June incident with a 15-year-old female.

“Mr. Gillespie’s problems all stem from substance abuse,” stated Gillespie’s attorney Randall E. Breaden. He doesn’t just commit crimes to be committing crimes.”

Gillespie, who has admitted to having a substance abuse problem, was placed on an intervention program in Montgomery County where he has a pending charge for possession of Heroin.

Judge Hein also ordered Gillespie be placed on probation for up to 60 months after successfully completing the MonDay Program. He will serve 24 months in prison if he violates any of the conditions of the sentence. He was also given 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution of $500 plus court costs.

“I’m going to use a community control sanction to see if you are a lost cause,” Judge Hein said to Gillespie during Thursday’s sentencing.

“Your brain stops developing after you start using drugs,” the judge continued. “You being in jail is a good thing, because it keeps you sober and focused and gives your brain a chance to catch up in a relatively safe environment.”

“The problem is what you do when out in the free world and it’s pretty obvious when drugs are a problem you do burglaries and commit crimes against people,” added Judge Hein.

“We are sending you down to the MonDay program to learn behavior and substance abuse coping techniques. So when you get out you don’t just go run to the next available drug,” the judge concluded.