Archived Story

‘Crack devil’ on back of Niles man

Published 2:15pm Friday, April 27, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — A Niles man described as having the “crack devil” on his back received a probation sentence stemming from a cocaine-fueled argument earlier this year.

Forty-one-year-old Derek Wright admitted to getting into an argument with his girlfriend after they both used crack at a residence on Gumwood Road in Niles Feb. 29. During the argument, Wright pushed his girlfriend and she fell into some stairs resulting in a head injury. She called an ambulance.

“The defendant clearly has the crack devil on his back,” Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said. “I describe crack cocaine as the evil twin brother of methamphetamine. They are both very addictive drugs.”

Wright pleaded guilty April 2 to the counts of felony possession of cocaine less than 25 grams and misdemeanor domestic violence.

Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Wright to 18 months of probation with credit for two days served for cocaine possession and 18 months of probation for domestic violence. The domestic violence count will be waived if Wright satisfies the terms of the probation.

Wright has a relatively clean record with just one prior misdemeanor conviction from seven years ago. He also has a business degree from Ball State University.

“This is not where you need to be and it is really a shame that your education to some extent has been wasted because of your involvement with substance abuse,” Dodge said. “You certainly need to get your life back on track and you’ve demonstrated in the past you have the ability to do that.”

Wright said he understands the seriousness of his situation.

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