NARCAN recipient ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation

Published 10:17 am Monday, January 30, 2017

A Niles man who nearly died following a drug overdose last summer will have the chance to finally get his life back on track after nearly four decades of trouble with the law.

Cass County Circuit Court Judge Mark Herman sentenced 52-year-old Christopher Leroy Parsons to two years of probation during his hearing Friday morning in county court, for possession of methamphetamine and driving with a suspended license. As part of his probation, Parsons was ordered to complete drug rehabilitation from the Twin County Probation Center.

Parsons pleaded guilty to the charges on Oct. 21.

Christopher Parsons

Christopher Parsons

According to the judge, Parsons was arrested on July 4 after his vehicle was stopped by police at the intersection of Redfield Street and Ebersole Road in Ontwa Township for driving with a suspended license. In the course of the stop, officers discovered the man was in possession of a methamphetamine pipe, with white residue inside it, as well as a briefcase that contained additional pipes, white tubes with methamphetamine inside, digital scales with white residue and 100 plastic bags, Herman said.

At some point during the stop, Parsons passed out due to a drug overdose, the judge said.

“You became unresponsive and were given NARCAN, which likely saved your life,” Herman said, addressing the defendant in court Friday. “Then you were transported to the hospital.”

The judge pointed out that the 52-year-old was “no spring chicken” when it comes to crime. Parsons has a record going back nearly 40 years, with multiple stays in jail and nine stints in prison, the judge said.

“At age 52, it is time for him to start paying attention to what is getting him into these problems,” said Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle during her remarks to the court. “They have to be costly if nothing else, family-wise and money-wise.”

Parsons’ attorney, James Miller, also addressed the court Friday, telling the judge that his client is, perhaps for the first time, trying to tackle his drug problems. The man has succeeded so far in the court’s Adult Treatment Court program, and is looking forward to finishing rehabilitation in order to get a job and move on with his life, Miller said.

Parsons spoke on his own behalf as well, thanking the prosecutor’s office and the court for the opportunity to participate in the treatment program.

“It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, to be honest,” Parsons said. “I am trying the best that I can to get through this, to get to a point where I can be a good father and good grandfather to my kids and my grandkids.”

Also sentenced Friday:

• Jonathan Craig Noel, 31, of Marcellus, to two years of probation for meth-related charges.

• Brandy Genee Jones, 42, of Elkhart, to two years of probation for possession of  methamphetamine.