By Sam Wildow
TROY — A father is protesting the sentence his daughter received from a local municipal court judge in August 2020 before his daughter later passed away from a drug overdose in January of this year.
Chris Meyer, of Lebanon, held a small, picketed protest outside the Miami County Courthouse on Wednesday, where he was also passing out flyers regarding his daughter, Nicole Weikert, and her opioid addiction. Weikert, 34, was first arrested on Jan. 9, 2020, on charges of OVI, possession of a drug abuse instrument, and possession of a controlled substance. Meyer was an advocate of his daughter receiving a tougher sentence in the hopes that it would force her to stop using drugs.
Meyer said he spoke with Tipp City’s prosecuting attorney, Jonathan Freeman, multiple times, saying, “It was a miracle that after all of this that she was still alive, and that my family and I were hoping and praying that maybe she will finally be punished enough that it would wake her up, and she would finally decide to quit using drugs.” Meyer also attempted to speak with the presiding judge in her case, Miami County Municipal Court Judge Samuel Huffman, but was unsuccessful. Meyer believed that if Weikert had gotten “threatened with jail time, she might quit.”
Weikert received an amended charge of physical control of vehicle under the influence, instead of an OVI, and a misdemeanor drug charge instead of the previous felony. She received court fines and suspended jail time, and her drug possession charge came with the stipulation of “no like offenses” for two years.
When Meyer learned that Weikert was getting into a drug rehabilitation program around the time of her sentencing, he said he told Freeman, “Don’t be deceived.”
“I told him I’m not sure if she’s getting into the program because she really wants to get better, or if she’s getting into the program because her court date is just a couple weeks away and she’s trying to avoid a jail sentence,” Meyer said.
Meyer said his daughter left the program five days after her sentence in August 2020, later passing away from a drug overdose on Jan. 11 of this year.
“If something more had been done, she might have stayed in the program,” Meyer said. His flyer adds that he felt a disservice was done to his daughter.
Meyer said his protest isn’t political, but he hoped that next time, if Freeman and Huffman are faced with a similar decision, they will make a different decision.
“We realize we can’t bring her back,” Meyer said on Wednesday, adding that he felt the court’s decision in Weikert’s case was “just wrong.”
“I want people to know what happened,” Meyer said.
Huffman declined to comment on the protest. Freeman did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.