By Ed Runyan
Thomas Altiere Jr., son of Sheriff Thomas Altiere Sr., violated his probation by using drugs, but Ohio is moving away from incarceration for such offenses, so he will be getting another chance, a visiting judge said Friday.
Visiting Judge Richard D. Reinbold Jr. of Stark County said that during most of his 12 years as a judge, he sent drug offenders who failed to successfully complete a treatment program in lieu of conviction to prison, but he has changed his position in the last couple of years.
The state’s desire to reduce the prison population and changes in sentencing laws have caused him to give some offenders another chance, and Altiere is one of those people, Judge Reinbold said.
Altiere, 32, of Royal Troon Drive, pleaded guilty in June to deception to obtain a dangerous drug, but he was allowed to participate in the Treatment-In-Lieu-of-Conviction program, meaning his conviction would be wiped out if he successfully completed a drug-treatment program.
He re-offended with drugs, however, causing the Trumbull County Adult Probation Department to ask the court for a hearing to determine whether Altiere’s probation should be revoked.
Judge Reinbold instead agreed to Altiere’s proposed treatment at Glenbeigh of Rock Creek, Ohio, which is 30 days of residential treatment followed by 12 weeks of outpatient care.
Altiere still will be eligible to have the charge dismissed one year from the end of treatment, Judge Reinbold said.
Tracy Hunt, a probation officer, wanted clarification that it would be permissible to place Altiere in jail pending a hearing if he checked himself out of Glenbeigh before he had completed the program.
Judge Reinbold said he could be and added that if Altiere is not successful in drug treatment this time, “I give you a guarantee you will go to prison if not 18 months, something close.”