A North Baltimore woman has been granted early release from prison.
Nicole Simon, 36, was transported Tuesday from the Northeast Pre Release Center in Cleveland to the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.
Simon was indicted in December 2019 for two counts of burglary after she allegedly failed to scan 21 items at Walmart valued at $85. She had been trespassed from Walmart in 2015 for theft.
In October 2020, Reger imposed a sentence of three years community control and ordered Simon to successfully complete the community-based correction program.
Simon was arrested in June 2021 after she didn’t show up for appointments with adult probation in May 2021 and June 2021.
She was released from jail on an own recognizance bond and entered outpatient counseling at Midwest Recovery in Perrysburg in September 2021.
Her bond was revoked and a statewide warrant for her arrested was issued in October 2021 after Simon was charged with felony drug possession. She was arrested Dec. 24, 2021.
In January 2022, Reger imposed a prison sentence of 30 months with credit for 113 days served in jail.
Her jail credit was later recalculated to 211 days.
Simon applied for judicial release in July 2022; it was denied. She applied again in September and October 2022; both requests were denied.
If released, Simon will make the right decisions and get the help she needs for her addiction issues, said defense attorney Lawrence Gold on Tuesday.
Reger said Simon was given a lot of opportunities while on community control and he had denied her requests for early release because he didn’t think she was ready for it.
Simon said she was sick of living the lifestyle of using drugs and had found God while in prison.
“I’m a work in progress but I feel like I have changed,” she said.
The state opposed the early release on the basis that Simon was a poor candidate for early release as she previously been charged with drug possession while on community control, said Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Boos.
Reger said the state is right and she should serve the prison sentence in its entirety, but he added that Simon will be better monitored in Wood County.
Reger on Tuesday granted the fourth request for judicial release and placed Simon on three years of community control. She must complete adult probation’s intensive supervision program and 300 hours of community service.
One violation, and she was going back to prison, Reger said.
“We’ve given you every opportunity we can. This is your time to prove … you can succeed,” he said.