Charges dropped against pair after woman overdoses in front of child

Couple completes drug therapy

A couple arrested after the mother overdosed in front of their child both completed a drug treatment program, and their charges were dismissed.

Hanna Richard, 19, of Greenwood, and Brandon Deblaso, 21, of Lafayette, were both arrested on charges of neglect, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia after police were called to a Greenwood apartment in March.

Deblaso called 911 and told police that Richard was unconscious but breathing at her apartment at Polo Run Apartments off of Fry Road.

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When police arrived, they gave Richard a dose of Narcan, a drug used to treat narcotic overdoses.

When Richard regained consciousness, she told police that both she and Deblaso had used heroin. She was treated and released at Community Hospital South.

Their young daughter was sitting in a highchair nearby, according to police reports at the time.

Both Deblaso and Richard entered a drug treatment program, and their cases were dismissed, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

This was the first time Richard had been in trouble, which is just one factor that was considered when dismissing the charges, her attorney Russ Johnson said.

Richard also almost died, Johnson said.

The heroin Richard had used was also laced with fentanyl and could have easily killed her, he said.

Johnson has seen plenty of similar cases, including clients in their teens with no prior records, who get hooked on heroin and then get in trouble, he said.

He is glad the prosecutor’s office is trying to help the people who become addicted to the drug, he said.

“Hanna is an exceptional young girl who made a huge mistake and almost paid for it with her life,” Johnson said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.