MOUNT VERNON — A Knox County judge gave a Fredericktown woman a second crack at intervention in lieu of conviction and offered the same to a Mount Vernon man who said he’s never heard of the program before.
Common Pleas Judge Richard D. Wetzel Thursday gave Ryan D. Dewyze, 35, and Randi N. Yacono, 31, 21 days to get treatment plans together and apply for intervention in lieu of conviction (ILC). In Yacono’s case, it will be a chance to re-apply.
Wetzel offered ILC to Dewyze. Yacono previously applied for ILC, but was denied after she stopped attending classes that were part of her treatment plan.
Dewyze and Yacono were in court Thursday for plea hearings. Wetzel stayed the cases for the three weeks to let them pursue ILC.
Both Dewyze and Yacono are charged with aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Yacono was also charged with illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
It will need to be determined if Dewyze is eligible for ILC, due to his having a prior felony conviction in 2007 for which he served a prison sentence, Wetzel said.
When asked by Wetzel if he would like to be given a chance at ILC, Dewyze said he has “never heard of it.”
Yacono said she dropped off from ILC classes for about a week because she was busy starting a new job. Yacono told Wetzel that she is still working, but it won’t interfere with treatment.
ILC allows felony charges to be dropped if the defendant completes a treatment plan and maintains sobriety for a year. To be eligible, the defendant must be able to convince a judge that the criminal offense they have been charged with is directly linked to a problem with substance abuse.
The criminal proceedings are suspended while the defendant is on ILC. If they fail to complete the program, the criminal proceedings are reinstated.
Under new changes in the ILC law, some individuals with a prior record may still be eligible for the program.
Dewyze has started a treatment program in Frazeysburg. Wetzel said Dewyze can benefit from ILC if he has the prior felony sealed, effectively erasing it from his record. That way, if Dewyze successfully completes ILC, the new felony charge will be dropped and he will have a clean record.
Dewyze’s attorney, Public Defender John Pyle, said he will file to have the older charge sealed.