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Man pleads not guilty to drug charges tied to OD death

By DYLAN SAMS Published: May 30, 2017 4:00 AM
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A Millersburg man has been arrested and indicted on charges connected to the death of a Loudonville woman in 2016.

Deandre L. Smith II, 24, has been indicted on three counts -- corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony, trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine, both of which are fifth-degree felonies.

Prosecutors allege Smith supplied a 27-year-old Loudonville woman with cocaine that contributed to her death. The woman died June 2, 2016.

The indictment's charges stem from an incident "on or about" June 1, 2016, and June 2, 2016. The charge alleges Smith did "administer or furnish to another or induce or cause another to use a controlled substance."

Through his appointed attorney, Terry Hitchman, Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday morning in Ashland County Common Pleas court.

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Smith has been indicted twice in the case. The indictment was filed Sept. 8, 2016, and contained the two drug charges. Smith had not been picked up on the indictment, which was a secret (subrosa) indictment. The second indictment, which added the corrupting another with drugs charge, was filed May 12.

Assistant county prosecutor Josh Aspin said he expected the first indictment to be dismissed by written motion because the second indictment, with a more serious charge, had been filed.

Smith's bond was originally set during a video hearing. Magistrate Paul T. Lange set Smith's bond at $70,000 during that hearing, which took place May 17.

"I'm not guilty, sir; I'm a good kid," Smith said at that hearing.

During Thursday's hearing, Hitchman asked that Smith have the option to pay 10 percent, or $7,000, of the $70,000 to post bond.

"Is there any concern that there is a flight risk at this point," Lange asked.

Hitchman replied no. Aspin said the state opposed any change in bond.

"He's been here the whole time. He was living in Loudonville and I think that was where they investigated his house, and he moved to Millersburg with his grandfather. From my knowledge he is not a flight risk," Hitchman said. The attorney also noted Smith had no prior felony record.

Lange ultimately reduced the bond to $25,000, but he did not allow the option to pay 10 percent.

A trial date was set for Aug. 15, with a negotiated plea deadline set for July 25. A pre-trial hearing also was set for July 21.


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