Woman gets 8 years in Huron County jail death

A Fostoria woman will serve eight years in prison for smuggling pills into the Huron County jail that later caused another inmate to overdose.
Jessica Cuffman
Aug 1, 2012

 

A Fostoria woman will serve eight years in prison for smuggling pills into the Huron County jail that later caused another inmate to overdose.

Mindy Gallagher, 22, pleaded guilty to five felony charges Tuesday morning, including wreckless homicide for causing 20-year-old Jesika Skelton’s death.

The two had been cell mates on March 9, after Gallagher was placed in Skelton’s cell block.

When Gallagher first came into the jail, correctional officers placed her in segregation because she appeared to be under the influence. Though officers had searched Gallagher for drugs when Norwalk Police Department arrested her, they didn’t find any.

At Gallagher’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, Huron County prosecutor Russ Leffler said she’d managed to hid the prescription pills in a body cavity during her arrest and for the few days she was in segregation.

Then when she was put in the cell block, with nine other inmates, she passed them out to share.
Gallagher and all but one of the other inmates ingested the pills, a mix of Xanax and Oxycodone — a lethal mix for anyone whose body hasn’t built up a tolerance to opiates, highly addictive drugs with morphine-like effects.

In all, four of those inmates ended up in the hospital. Gallagher, a drug user with a tolerance, survived, Leffler said.

Skelton did not. She died two days after taking the pills.

Judge James Conway sentenced Gallagher to eight years in prison Tuesday, three years on the wreckless homicide charge, one year for theft of drugs, two years for bringing them into the jail.

He also sentenced her to one year each for two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs — one charge for each of the other two inmates who overdosed on the pill combination.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Skelton’s family members, dressed in black T-shirts with her picture and “Boo’s Poem” written in pink on the back, asked Gallagher to see her jail sentence as a second chance.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Sandusky Register.
 

Comments

Reva

 Save your tears little girl!

wiredmama222

why do they always cry when they get caught, get sentenced or go off to jail?  Yes, shed those tears now, you killed someone. 

rjk1915

 "wreckless" ?

deertracker

I don't feel it is her fault the girl died.  I agree she should be punished for smuggling the drugs into the jail but she did not shove the pills down the girl's throat.  The justice system is coming down on her so hard because the intake corrections officers failed to properly do their job.  They are EMBARRASSED and should be.

Trafficking?  Really?  I thought she gave out the drugs.  How do you hide anything in a body cavity for day{s}?  Think about it!

 

realitychek

 If she had smuggle in cigarettes (like most inmates do) and another inmate smoke one of the cigarettes and got cancer and died.....would this girl or anyone else be charge with wreckless homicide? NO. The jail staff should be held responsible. It's their job to properly search inmates before allowing them into the jail. The jail is responsible for the safety of all inmates and when something like this happens, they are at the very least 90% at fault. Whoever is in charge over there should be fired and the victim family should sue the county, state, and the staff personally who failed to do their jobs. How do you as a jail let this happen right in front of your faces??? I mean where were you when all of this was going on? How long did it take you to get these people to the hospital for help? This is bad!

Miss  Gallagher, you did break the law and your actions did lead to someone dying and for that you should go to jail, not for 8 years because other people actions including the victim also lead to the victim death. It's a sad story all the way around. I hope the victim family is not letting the county jail off the hook? 

juzzmytake

How did the drugs get into the jail to begin with? Aren't inmates supposed to be stripped and searched THOROUGHLY before being placed in a cell? She did not sit on the other inmates and force the drugs down their throats. She should be held accountable for breaking the law by bringing the drugs into the jail and distributing them. The guards at the jail, who processed her should be reprimanded.