LeAnn Kidd (courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer)
Cincinnati, OH (written by Kimball Perry/Cincinnati Enquirer) -- Ryan Nelson, an assistant Hamilton County prosecutor, desperately wants LeAnn Kidd to go to prison. But not just for punishment.
"This is a case I will not forget," Nelson said. "If she doesn't go to prison, she's going to die."
It won't be her first time.
"She's died seven or eight times" from accidental overdoses, her father, Jim Kidd, said Tuesday, after his daughter missed her court date.
Now, both her father and prosecutor hope prison can save the 27-year-old heroin addict's life. A judge will decide Friday.
LeAnn Kidd has been addicted since her late teens when she got hooked on Oxycontin as a means to ease her menstrual pains, her father said.
The sweet, caring girl who wanted to be a veterinarian quickly turned to heroin. After a while, the thrill of the high was gone. She was hooked and battled to chase the next high.
It led to lots of trouble. She's been in jail at least 16 times.
"It's so easy to say, 'Oh, she's an addict. Why can't she just quit?' It's not like that. No addict wants to stay like that," Jim Kidd said.
She's completed numerous drug rehab programs, some more than once, but always relapsed. The worst came after the death last June of her brother.
"It was the only thing she knew to fall back on," her father said of heroin.
It also caused her to die three times in a week. Each time, she was saved. Each time she went back to drugs, ignoring warnings from police and authorities that the heroin in Cincinnati-area streets was dangerous because it was mixed, or cut, with so many other drugs or substitutes.
The last time she died was April 12 in her parents' bathroom. It, too, was an accidental heroin overdose, her father said.
"I pulled her out of the tub. She was not breathing, she had no muscle tone. Her lips were blue and her eyes were in the back of her head," he said.
Rescue workers brought her back to life and took her to the hospital where she stayed until she was sent to jail.
Prosecutor Nelson was stunned when he saw her case file in court Tuesday.
"The first thing I thought was 'This woman is going to kill herself,' " Nelson said.
"She's on probation for four cases. That's an amazingly high number. She's had four strikes. That's way more strikes than I'd give anybody."
Nelson believes sending her to prison is the only way to keep her alive. "I'm usually not in the position where I'm advocating prison to save someone's life," he said. "I think we have done all we can for her."
His goal is to have her receive a "reasonably lengthy" prison sentence to try to keep her clean.
"I have a great deal more faith with her being drug-free in prison than being drug-free on the streets," Nelson said.
Jim Kidd admits a prison term could save his daughter, who is currently in a drug rehab program. He wants her to have a life and not be known only as an addict.
"She's my daughter and a human being. She's not a rag doll laying out in the road that you kick every time you go past," he said.