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Kent man sentenced for wife's drug overdose

Published: November 23, 2016 10:39 AM

A Kent man who provided the heroin that caused his wife to suffer an overdose in an East Main Street parking lot in May has been sentenced to local jail time and court-ordered drug treatment.

Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman sentenced Matthew B. Kokochak, 29, of 735 Cuyahoga St., to 300 days in the Portage County jail, four years of probation, fined him $5,000 and suspended his driver's license for a year.

He pleaded guilty in September to corrupting another with drugs, a third-degree felony that does not carry a presumption of prison but could have landed Kokochak behind prison bars for up to three years.

Pittman granted Kokochak credit for 199 days already served in the Portage County jail awaiting trial, and ordered him to serve up to 101 more until a bed opens up for him at the Oriana House, a private addiction treatment center. He will then be released into the Root House, a residential treatment center in Portage County for men recovering from addiction, she ruled.

While on probation, Kokochak must find a full-time job within nine months and attend two recovery meetings per week for one year, according to Pittman's orders.

The case arose out of Kokochak's May 7 arrest in the parking lot of Sheetz at 1762 E. Main St. in Franklin Township. Portage County sheriff's deputies and Kent Fire Department paramedics responded to a medical emergency at the gas station and convenience store, where they found Kokochak apparently under the influence of drugs, and his wife, 37-year-old Tracy M. Baker, suffering from a suspected drug overdose.

Baker, who was unresponsive and not breathing, was transported to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center in Ravenna, where she was treated and recovered. Kokochak told investigators his wife was clean, but deputies found multiple pill bottles, unprescribed medications and other drug paraphernalia in the couple's car.

Witnesses said Baker appeared to be using drugs in the parking lot before collapsing, and Kokochak later admitted to giving his wife drugs to "calm her down," according to the Portage County Prosecutor's Office.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com.


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