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Defendant Accepted To Drug Court

By Staff | Aug 19, 2015

Nickolas Brady Matthews, 31, of Wetzel County, was sentenced to no less than one nor more than five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men for conspiracy to deliver heroin. Matthews was accepted into the drug court program; however, he was ordered to complete a minimum of six months in prison before entering the program.

Matthews told the Honorable Judge David W. Hummel that he used suboxone to “get off heroin.” Matthews described a lengthy past with drug addiction, stating he started pot when he was just 13.

“Most of my crimes stem from drugs,” he said, adding when not using drugs he is a “productive member of society.”

Matthews said he had been clean for five months.

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” Hummel inquired.

“I want to finish school,” Matthews said. “I want to get a degree. Matthews said that since he is incarcerated for his crimes, he’s “refined my criminality,” as he’s been around criminals everyday.

“I’ve never had a chance,” he said, expressing his desire to try rehabilitation.

Matthews said he has worked as an abstractor, roustabout, and has also poured concrete.

“Nickolas presents an interesting case,” Attorney Brett Ferro explained. “He has been evaluated for drug court. He has a good attitude. He’s always received a prison sentence. He was snorting 50 bags of heroin a day. He realizes this is the last chance to save his life.”

Ferro explained that Matthews could be sentenced to one to five years, but upon release he would most likely get involved with drugs again.

“He’s motivated. He recognizes he needs to change his associates. He would be successful (in drug court). He would be a viable candidate.”

Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught argued that Matthews would never find success as long as he remains around his brother. Haught said Matthews minimizes his involvement in his crime, though Matthews and his brother were both involved in bringing drugs into West Virginia from Pittsburgh.

“Evil companions corrupt good morals,” Haught said of the situation.

Matthews said if released from prison he would reside with his mother; his brother would not be allowed in the home.

Haught requested that if Matthews was to be released from prison, the court order him to be monitored with GPS.

“If I terminate you from drug court, you will go to prison for the full sentence,” Hummel sternly warned Matthews, adding that drug court is tough.

Hummel further stated that Matthews could agree to go to prison and discharge his sentence before completing the drug court program.

“It didn’t work,” Matthews said of prison. “I’m willing to go through the extremes. I need better coping mechanisms,” he added.

Hummel once again told Matthews he could try to overcome the addiction on his own.

“I haven’t been able to so far,” Matthews said.

Hummel sentenced him to one to five years in the Division of Corrections with credit for time served. He said Matthews would be released on a motion for reduction in sentence on Sept. 15, where he would then be admitted into drug court. Matthews is to be placed on home confinement with GPS monitoring. His probation is set for four years, with completion of drug court as a material condition of probation.

On July 10, Matthews entered into an Alford plea regarding his charge of conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance.