Mom’s rehab impresses judge

A Stockport woman was sentenced Monday to six months in jail in Washington County Common Pleas Court for transporting drugs with her two children in the car.

Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider recommended a prison sentence for Carrie A. Hanning, 32, of 1985 Main St., for a Dec. 22, 2011, traffic stop which resulted in officers finding a large quantity of heroin inside a body cavity.

However, Hanning’s attorney Rolf Baumgartel said that his client is confronting her drug addiction and would be better served by community control.

“With all due respect to the state, we disagree. Mrs. Hanning is worth a chance at community control,” said Baumgartel at sentencing.

Hanning and her husband have been going to counseling in both Parkersburg and Morgan County since being pulled over nearly 15 months ago, said Baumgartel.

Hanning has been clean since that time, he said.

“I think the message a prison sentence sends in this case is no matter what you do, you’re going to prison. It tells the next person and the next person, you may as well keep using because you’re going to go to prison regardless,” said Baumgartel.

He also pointed out that Hanning has no prior felonies and was cooperative with the officer from the Ohio State Highway Patrol who pulled Hanning and her husband over on I-77 near milepost 10 after discovering there was a warrant in Morgan County for Hanning’s husband.

Though a drug dog indicated on the vehicle, an initial search turned up nothing.

Hanning later revealed that she had heroin hidden inside a body cavity, said Baumgartel.

Hanning and her husband, Michael, 33, were each indicted in August. The 11.5 grams of heroin resulted in two second-degree felony charges for each-one for possession of heroin and one for trafficking in heroin, said Schneider.

Carrie Hanning pleaded Jan. 28 to the second-degree felony county of possession.

The Hannings told officers they did not sell the drugs, said Baumgartel. Rather they would travel to Columbus to buy a large quantity of the drug to satisfy their addiction over a long period of time, he said.

Charges against Michael have been dismissed, said Baumgartel.

“But I think it’s important to note that her husband has also been going to counseling, that they’re doing it together,” he said.

Hanning spoke briefly to reiterate what Baumgartel had said.

“I’ve just been staying clean, doing the best I can with what services I have. … I’m a pretty quiet, laid-back person. I can easily keep myself out of trouble,” she said.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane agreed that Hanning was amenable to community control and sentenced her to five years of the supervised probation program.

“It is significant to this court that she has been deeply involved in rehab. I’ve gotten good letters from both the counseling centers she’s been attending,” said Lane.

Hanning was also sentenced to six months in the Washington County Jail.

She faced a maximum eight-year prison sentence on the charge.