Irvin E Stiens Myrtle L Lane Ralph L Davidson August J Pace Carl R Brown Phyllis J Beard Lady G-Men complete sweep of Tigers in SBAAC Nat’l Division G-Men pluck Cardinals, 6-4 Warriors climb to 4-1 in SHAC with victory over North Adams Broncos rally in 7th for 5-4 win over Batavia Blue Jays still in search of first win Three million dollar jail expansion planned Higginsport enforcing speed with camera Unemployment rate falls in county, southern Ohio Varnau not restricted from talking online about Goldson case Rockets fall to 4-1 in SHAC with loss to North Adams Bronco tennis team tops Bethel-Tate, 5-0 Lady G-Men rise to 7-4 with win at Goshen Lady Broncos’ big bats hammer out 11-0 win over Batavia G-Men showing improvement Keith Shouse Diane L Steele August Hensley Louise R Murrell Fire strikes Mt. Orab Bible Baptist Church Grant Days 2017 attractions Man accused of sex crime, giving pot to kids Ten indicted by Brown County Grand Jury 5th Annual Rick Eagan Memorial 5K Run/Walk coming up in May Birds of Prey Three sentenced in common pleas court John H Young II Sally A Gibson Barbara Burris Mary Ann Napier Martha L Newland Marlene Thompson Patricia A Firrell Kellie J Berry Mt. Orab, Hamersville students take part in ‘Hoops for Heart’ Eastern players take part in District 14 All-Star Games DeWine meets with local officials Eastern Superintendent praises students accomplishments during board meeting Local author’s story appears in new book Four sentenced in common pleas court Three to run for Municipal Judge Grant Days 2017 coming in April Lincoln’s Generals at Grant Days Brenda R Harris Mock crash staged at Georgetown High School Georgetown to hire eighth full time police officer Reception honoring Becky Cropper April 2 PRC to host annual community supper Rockets blast past the Blue Jays Georgetown hosts ‘season opener’ track and field invite Lady Rockets cruise to 10-0 win over Ripley Lady Warriors, Lady G-Men split games in season opener double-header Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8

Georgetown’s Kevin Blake Tucker was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter

GEORGETOWN — A new county-wide initiative to charge drug dealers in overdose deaths has produced its first guilty verdict.

Kevin Blake Tucker, 22, of Georgetown, was sentenced to four years in the Ohio Department of Corrections after he accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony. With credit for time served in the Brown County Adult Detention Center, Tucker will remain locked up until June 16, 2019.

Tucker was involved in the death of 62-year-old Danny Smith on the evening of June 17, 2015 in Georgetown. According to court documents filed with the Brown County Municipal Court, Tucker and Georgetown resident Maribeth Denny drove to Cincinnati to purchase heroin. When they returned, Denny, Tucker, and Smith split the heroin. At approximately 7:48 p.m. that evening, the Georgetown Police Department was dispatched to Smith’s home on New Street for a potential overdose.

Georgetown EMS arrived five minutes later, according to a probable cause affidavit, but eventually ended chest compressions and called the Brown County Coroner, Dr. Judith Varnau.

It’s unclear, according to the affidavit, who gave Smith the heroin, but both Tucker and Denny were arrested and jailed for their involvement. Denny was later released, but a recent probation violation has her back in the Brown County Jail.

Tucker was indicted by the Brown County Grand Jury on August 13 with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, one count of corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony, and one count of trafficking in heroin, a fifth-degree felony. As part of his plea bargain, counts two, three, and four were dismissed.

Tucker’s conviction is likely to be just the first of many as the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office looks to try and uproot the deadly drug epidemic that Brown County and all of Southwest Ohio is faced with.

At his sentencing hearing, Gusweiler read out the names of 37 friends and family members who wrote letters to the court in support of Tucker. While Gusweiler was impressed with the outpouring of support, he said what was more important to him was Tucker’s extensive record with the Brown County Juvenile Court.

“All these letters were telling me what a great guy you were, and I was like ‘holy cow’!” Gusweiler said. “And then I looked at your prior record, and that told me you weren’t a good guy. You were either spoiled, you were either kowtowed to, you either thought that you were better than everyone else, and you thought you were going to do your own this. This isn’t juvenile court, son.”

Gusweiler also labeled Tucker as a “punk,” which Tucker agreed was a fair statement.

Tucker then went on a long, eloquent speech, explaining to Gusweiler and his family how he has changed since he was incarcerated.

“I’d like to start by letting everyone know how sorry I am, the victim’s family mainly, for everything that’s happened, and I want my family to know that I’m sorry for putting them through this as well,” Tucker said. “This has been pretty hard on me and I’m sure it’s been hard on them.

“They say when you live the life I’ve been living, you can end up in one of two places; dead, or in prison. I consider myself lucky to have one and not the other.

“I appear you before court after the most gut-wrenching and humuliating experience that I’ve probably ever had to do, and I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody nor would I ever want to go through anything like this ever in my life. But I try to look at the positive and maintain a positive attitude about things, and accepting a positive attitude about things. Accepting responsibility for what happened was a big part in this, and I felt that’s what I needed to do, so I did that.

“This might sound kind of ironic since I’ve been locked up and in jail, but this whole experience has been kind of freeing. I’ve had a clear mind. My mom can sleep at night. I’m sober today. I’m alive. When I’m out there using and living the life I’m living, I’m not alive. It’s not something I wish upon anybody nor something I want to fall into again, nor do I plan to.

“So now I just try to take whatever’s thrown at me and then take it in the right direction, use everything to grow through this experience and not sit back and look at what’s happened. I believe I have control over what’s left of the situation and I’m going to do my best to take care of it.”

Smith’s daughter Stephanie Fleming then spoke at the sentencing hearing, and in tearful remarks, asked for justice to be done.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin described how he knew Tucker when he was a youngster, when Tucker was on Corbin’s youth basketball team. But Corbin continued that at some point, Tucker took a wrong turn and it got to the point where it seemed that Tucker was proud of his drug use.

“I don’t argue that Mr. Tucker wanted Danny Smith to die,” Corbin said. “I don’t think he purposefully caused the death, but that’s not what involuntary manslaughter is. He brought the drug to Danny Smith, he furnished that drug that caused the death. We would just ask the court to sentence him accordingly.”

Along with reading Tucker his sentence, Gusweiler instructed Tucker to live up to his potential, for Fleming’s sake.

“You’ll have Thanksgiving,” Gusweiler said. “You’ll have Christmas. You’ll have time with your family. Ms. Fleming never will. She doesn’t have her dad but now you’re going to show through your conduct what a success you can be, and as you learn through this awful tragedy that you occasioned upon them. No longer juvenile court. No longer being a punk.

“You do your time and you do it responsibly. Ms. Fleming is owed no less. She deserves every day, you thinking about how you’re going to improve yourself to make her proud of you. She deserves that. She’s owed that. Your county deserves that. We’re owed that.”

Two other individuals, were indicted on August 13 on charges of involuntary manslaughter on separate, unrelated incidents.

Brandy Keith, 33, of Mt. Orab, has a sentencing hearing on November 4 for her case. The case of Joshua Brockman, 34, of Mt. Orab, is currently still in the pre-trial portion. Both Keith and Brockman have pleaded not guilty to the charges but remain in the Brown County Jail.

Kevin Blake Tucker, right, was sentenced to four years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, after a man suffered an overdose using heroin provided by Tucker.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_KevinBlakeTucker2-DanielKarell-.jpgKevin Blake Tucker, right, was sentenced to four years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, after a man suffered an overdose using heroin provided by Tucker.

Kevin Blake Tucker will be incarcerated until June 16, 2019
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_KevinBlakeTucker1-DanielKarell-.jpgKevin Blake Tucker will be incarcerated until June 16, 2019
First conviction from a county-wide initiative to curb drug abuse

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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2016 News Democrat