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Trumbull woman's case reflects challenges of dealing with mental health issues



Published: Sat, March 23, 2013 @ 7:42 p.m.

WARREN

Stefanie Romeo, 30, a woman arrested 25 times in various Trumbull County locations since 2001, spent 88 days in the Trumbull County jail this winter awaiting trial on a December felony assault charge.

During negotiations Friday with a Warren prosecutor, Romeo offered to spend another 18 months there to avoid being sent to a state mental hospital for about two weeks and then released into the public.

Traci Timko Rose, assistant Warren law director, says she thinks the reason is because Romeo prefers jail to being homeless and doesn’t want treatment.

But after three months in the jail, Timko Rose felt it was time for her to leave, reduced Romeo’s charge from felony assault to misdemeanor assault, accepted her guilty plea and made arrangements for Romeo to be taken to a state mental hospital.

Though Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift said mental-health proceedings are confidential, jail officials confirmed that Romeo left the jail on Friday.

Romeo has been charged with over 100 offenses since 2001, mostly involving trespassing at businesses, but her charges usually escalate to making threats, profanity, spitting, sometimes physical violence. Police are a common target.

Read more about her case in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.


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