Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Parents prosecuted for providing children with drugs
Four parents in Muskingum County are charged in Common Pleas Court for providing drugs to children.
On Wednesday, 39-year-old Troyt Suttles pleaded guilty to one fourth-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs, one third-degree felony count of tampering with evidence, one fifth-degree felony count of possession of methamphetamine and one fourth-degree misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Suttles was indicted alongside his wife, Kristina Suttles, when their 13-year-old child showed up to school with bloodshot eyes in December. According to investigators, the child explained that her eyes looked that way because she had taken a shot of vodka before school to help her with her hangover. She was given a drug test that day and tested positive for alcohol, THC and spice.
A detective investigating the case spoke with the child victim who explained that her father allows her to consume alcohol and use marijuana. She told authorities that her father gives her a monthly allowance of marijuana. The victim said she smokes three or four times per month and keeps her marijuana in a glass jar. The girl explained that her parents use drugs daily.
When officers executed a search warrant at the house, they found drug paraphernalia, marijuana, as well as 1.7 grams of methamphetamine.
Suttles will be sentence at a later date. His wife, Kristina Suttles, is expected to enter a guilty plea next week. Currently, she is charged with one third-degree felony count of endangering children and one fourth-degree felony count of complicity to corrupting another with drugs.
Last month, two separate parents appeared in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court receive their prison sentences in similar cases of providing drugs to children.
A 38-year-old Zanesville woman was sentenced to five to seven-and-a-half years in prison for causing her underage son to overdose on fentanyl, which was laced in a line of cocaine she permitted him to consume.
Misty Carsey pleaded guilty to one second-degree felony count of endangering children in May as a result of her criminal behavior. A basic charge of endangering children involves a parent failing to provide care, protection or support, and the basic crime is a misdemeanor. The charge is enhanced when the parent’s actions constitute abuse, as in this case. Furthermore, when the abuse results in physical harm, the crime becomes a felony of the second degree.
Last June, Carsey arranged for her 16-year-old son to drive her and her boyfriend to purchase drugs and alcohol. During the ride, the victim smoked marijuana in the vehicle with his mother. When they returned home to their apartment at Adams Lane, the child was handed a line of cocaine placed on top of a cell phone. The boy snorted the narcotics and overdosed.
A passerby noticed Carsey standing outside the car trying to flag down help for both her son and boyfriend who were not breathing. It took three doses of Narcan for the Zanesville Fire Department to resuscitate the young victim, who later tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and fentanyl.
Assistant Prosecutor John Litle, who handled that case, told Judge Fleegle that in addition to the outrageous facts in the case, in her pre-sentence investigation, Carsey was upset that the situation happened to her, as opposed to understanding that the situation happened because of her. Mr. Litle identified the effect on the victim, as well as Carsey’s record, her drug seeking, and her choice of a boyfriend who was a fentanyl and cocaine dealer as reasons a prison term was appropriate. The court’s investigator noticed that Carsey’s number one concern was getting more drugs, not for the safety of her child, and highlighted the prior attempts made to rehabilitate her within the court system.
In another case of child-related drug abuse, Dustin Thorpe, 39, received a 16-month sentence after previously pleading guilty to two fourth-degree felony counts of corrupting another with drugs. Thorpe was supervising five children during a sleep-over in February. Thorpe gave a 12 and 13-year-old marijuana he obtained from a Newark marijuana dispensary. The children smoked, vaped and used a bong to consume the marijuana on video.
“The short-term and long-term effects of the use of marijuana by teenagers include increased aggression, decreased motivation and interest, mental health problems and risky sexual behaviors,” Assistant Prosecutor Molly Martin said.
The parents of the children became aware of the outrageous scenario when Snapchat videos appeared of their children using marijuana. The parents of the victimized children immediately removed their children from the situation and contacted law enforcement. Evidence recovered from the home supported the facts the juveniles shared with authorities that Thorpe was smoking a blunt in his living room, and allowed the kids to take a hit when asked.
Among the many tragedies of narcotics abuse is the ease with which the abuse can pass from one generation to another within a family. These cases highlight something far more sinister – the provision of drugs, and the approval of drug abuse, between parents and children. That behavior will not be tolerated in Muskingum County. These cases demonstrate that those parents and guardians who choose to corrupt the innocence of their own children will soon find themselves facing prison time.
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