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MILLERSBURG -- Earning a chance at life, an Orrville man who admittedly was in possession of marijuana and heroin during a 2015 traffic stop was sentenced Thursday, April 27, to complete treatment and probation.
Timothy Mark Palmer, 26, of 248 E. Market St., previously pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to possession of marijuana, heroin and drug abuse instruments, as well as driving outside the marked lane of travel.
Palmer previously was approved for treatment in lieu of conviction, but violated the terms of the program by using drugs.
In one case, Palmer was dumped at the Holmes County Trail Depot after he overdosed on heroin. After leaving Palmer, unresponsive, friends called for assistance and Palmer was saved by emergency personnel, who had to use several doses of Narcan to revive him, according to Holmes County Chief Probation Officer Roger Estill. Estill added that, had there not been an immediate response, Palmer would undoubtedly have died.
The overdose prompted Palmer's treatment in lieu of a conviction plan to be amended from an outpatient to an inpatient program. However, even after Palmer completed the inpatient program, he relapsed, said Estill, noting it was this misstep, along with a new criminal charge, that prohibited him from successfully completing the treatment in lieu of a conviction program.
It was Palmer's near-death overdose to which Judge Robert Rinfret referred when he handed down an 11-month prison sentence for the possession of heroin charge to which Palmer pleaded guilty.
The prison term was suspended in favor of three years of probation, to include completion of an intensive drug treatment program at the Stark Regional Community Corrections Center.
"I don't want you to screw up," Rinfret told Palmer. "I don't want to read about you in the paper because you're a statistic ... because you almost were."
On Oct. 12, 2015, a Holmes County Sheriff's deputy on routine patrol observed a silver Mitsubishi traveling southbound on Washington Street, near Logsdon Avenue, in the village of Millersburg.
Following the vehicle, the deputy saw it travel across the white fog line several times and accelerate to a speed of 63 mph in a 55 mph zone just south of the village, according to Chief Deputy Richard Haun.
The vehicle turned right onto U.S. Route 62, at which time the deputy, after witnessing it cross over the center line, executed a traffic stop, said Haun.
Palmer admitted to the deputy having narcotics inside the vehicle, which prompted a call for one of the department's K-9 units. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs and a search was conducted, yielding suspected marijuana, heroin and a hypodermic needle, said Haun.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.