GOSHEN — A Goshen woman who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for dealing meth told a judge she held up her end of the bargain and wants to serve the rest of her time outside prison.
Heather Slone, 34, pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine as a Level 2 felony and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, followed by eight years on probation, in August 2017. She was seeking a sentence modification Thursday from the same judge who sentenced her in Elkhart County Circuit Court.
Her attorney, Thomas Leatherman, pointed out that she’s had no conduct violations and that she’s been in custody for almost three years since her arrest in November 2016.
Elkhart County Deputy Prosecutor Don Pitzer opposed the request, pointing out that Slone’s earliest possible release date is in 2024.
Slone told Judge Michael Christofeno that she earned a GED while in prison and has completed a character-based substance abuse program called Purposeful Living Units Serve. She said she would continue receiving addictions treatment if she could finish her sentence outside of prison.
But Christofeno said he doesn’t have as much faith in the PLUS program as he does in a more intensive addictions program called Recovery While Incarcerated. He said that was the program he had in mind when he told her at sentencing that he would consider a modification if she completed a therapeutic community drug program and remained free of write-ups.
He said she’d be able to focus on her treatment while in the program and not worry about things like transportation or housing.
Slone said he didn’t tell her which program to take so she started the first one that was available. Leatherman added that RWI has a years-long waiting list.
“If she waited for Recovery While Incarcerated, she would still be waiting,” he said.
Christofeno said he would take Slone’s request under advisement and issue a ruling soon.