On April 2, 2012, a family lost a beloved member. The family suspected her death was not from natural causes. Eventually, the deceased Ohio woman’s husband faced felony charges related to her death. Recently, he took a plea agreement that will guarantee him no more than 11 years in prison.
On the day she died, the woman’s husband told 911 operators he was unable to wake his wife. At first, the death was not ruled suspicious due to her health problems. An incident in the past regarding a medication mix up made the woman’s family suspicious. The man said he accidentally gave his wife methadone instead of her medication.
It was not until the victim’s mother pushed a detective into looking into her death that it was ruled a homicide. Toxicology results indicated abnormally high levels of methadone in her system. After a lengthy interview with the detective, police arrested the man and a grand jury indicted him in Jan. 2013 on three separate charges.
This former Ohio resident and his defense team determined the best possible outcome in this case was to negotiate and accept a plea bargain for a lesser charge with a maximum 11-year sentence. His wife’s family was reluctant to agree to the plea but ultimately did. While in court on Jan. 24, the woman’s husband admitted to giving his wife a lethal dose of his methadone.
Going to trial is not always the best course of action depending on the circumstances. In the face of substantial evidence of guilt, it may be in the best interest of a person facing felony charges to consider a plea agreement to a lesser charge. While each criminal proceeding must be assessed with regard to its own particular set of facts, it is typically important to assess the weight of hte prosecution’s evidence and the likelihood of their securing a conviciton if the evidence they present is ruled admissible by the trial court. Reaching a plea agreement sometimes offers an accused individual an opportunity to limit the potential consequences at sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea, often based upon reduced charges.
Source: toledoblade.com, Husband enters plea to reduced charge, Jennifer Feehan, Jan. 25, 2014