Judge: ‘No time like the present’ to begin recovery


By Ashley Bunton - [email protected]



A man who police said had five separate packages of heroin stashed in his belly button plead guilty Monday.

George A. Shadley, 23, of Washington C.H., appeared in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas and entered a guilty plea to heroin possession.

Shadley told Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, that he had used heroin last weekend.

But, Shadley said, “I’ve been at my aunt’s and out away from town doing detox. She said there’s an inpatient facility in Columbus where I can go to get help. My aunt is the head of FOA, Family of Addicts, in Washington Court House, it’s a new chapter she has started.”

Judge Beathard asked Shadley how he was feeling that day. “You’re not looking very good,” said Beathard.

“Suprisingly, it is better. I’ve had a problem with this for awhile. To me, this coming to a head in front of me, I know felony probation is probably what I need to keep me on track. I’ve had trouble with this drug for awhile now. I lost my grandmother last year and it seems like things from that point on just spiraled out of control and with heroin, it’s really hard to get things back to where they need to be when you’re dealing with that drug,” said Shadley.

Shadley had allegedly left Home Depot, 300 Depot Drive, May 8 without paying for power tools. During his arrest May 13, a Washington C.H. police officer lifted Shadley’s shirt and removed the five packages of heroin out of his navel. A probation officer advised police that Shadley was known to hide things in his belly button, according to reports.

“He (the officer) asked me if I had anything on me. I didn’t want to get another charge for conveyance or anything so I lifted my shirt and told him it was heroin,” said Shadley.

Judge Beathard told Shadley he was going to be taken into custody at the Fayette County Jail after entering his guilty plea.

“We’re going to take you into custody today so you can detox. That will move you up a little bit on the assessment at Fayette Recovery and that’s the quickest way we have to get you into a program. I understand that’s probably not something that you want to do, but I think you’ve talked to your mother and you’ve talked to your attorney and you know now is the time to do it. No time like the present,” said Beathard.

Jess Weade, Fayette County Prosecutor, said it did not appear that Shadley had any past felony convictions.

“This is a mandatory community control sentence. When you come back for sentencing October 3, you will have already done those things I have already told you to do. Hopefully you will be on the way to recovery, which is a lifelong event for you,” said Beathard.

Shadley said he had already made an appointment with Fayette Recovery for an assessment and was interested in getting a Vivatrol shot. Vivatrol is used to block the effects of heroin and opioids.

“The probation officers will make sure, if that’s something you want to do, then they will loop you into that,” said Beathard.

Once Fayette Recovery decides that Shadley would be a good candidate for a Vivatrol shot and he gets one, Beathard said Shadley could be released from jail.

“No one wants to release you once you’ve detoxed and you have it out of your system and then you overdose. That’s not going to happen. That’s the reason we’re taking you into custody today,” said Beathard.

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By Ashley Bunton

[email protected]

Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

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