A Chattanooga man may be facing several years in prison after overdosing on opioids and violating probation.
Timothy Howard Smartt, 36, overdosed on heroin, and later admitted to using methamphetamines despite being on probation. He stood before Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz and attempted to avoid a long stay in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
According to Smartt, he was in Chattanooga visiting his ill mother. While ailing from pains himself, he went to a pharmacy to pick up some medicine for his mother. While there, an acquaintance offered him some illegal drugs.
While Smartt said he knew better, he wanted to resist “but my back was hurting, so I gave in.”
After overdosing, he began abusing methamphetamines too. While Smartt would not name his supplier, he said a “friend” was the one who gave him those drugs.
Smartt and his attorney then pleaded with Judge Greenholtz, and asked for the judge to allow him to go to Rick Ingram’s faith-based drug rehabilitation program.
“What do you believe the new program will do for you that’s different from the other programs,” asked Judge Greenholtz.
“They’re different,” said Smartt, “There’s small groups, and more accountability. I need structure. Rick is a little more strict.”
Smartt also said he and his pregnant girlfriend are in the process of moving to Monroe County. He said he realized Hamilton County and its drugs are too strong a temptation for him, so he’s removing himself from the situation.
“I just want to get right with the Lord. That overdose was the first time, then I started using meth for two weeks until I got caught for the probation violation. I slipped up, sir,” said the defendant, “I had a bad day. Her having a tough time paying bills (while I was in jail) has really opened my eyes.”
Throughout his testimony, Smartt constantly spoke about his faith, and wanting to “get right with the Lord.” He fondly recalled his time in faith-based Miracle Lake facility as life-changing.
Smartt’s girlfriend also briefly took the stand, and she essentially confirmed everything her boyfriend and his attorney said. She said she is six months pregnant, and knows of and trusts Rick Ingram’s drug program.
Judge Greenholtz still had questions though. He wondered how many different programs Smartt would need before he had the “structure” needed to stay off of drugs.
“How long does it take? How many chances does he get,” asked the judge, “I don’t want to send him away, but this is the third violation.”
After a brief time deliberating, Judge Greenoltz decided that he could wait until Aug. 9 to make a ruling. That gap of time would give Smartt and his attorney to find a middle ground between the unsupervised probation/Rick Ingram’s faith-based system and a long stay in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.