Woman sentenced to EOCC for bringing drugs into county jail – SalemNews.net

Mar 19, 2022
SALEM — A woman accused of conspiring with a murder defendant and others to bring illegal drugs into the Columbiana County jail between Aug. 11 and 23 last year has been sentenced to a term at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.
Nicole M. Kenst, 35, Kensington, entered a guilty plea Friday to a third-degree felony charge of complicity in the commission of an offense as part of a plea agreement.
Assistant county prosecutor Christopher Weeda told Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton that he’ll dismiss the other charge in the indictment against Kenst for illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of the jail, also a third-degree felony, as part of the deal.
For now, Kenst will remain in the county jail until a bed becomes available at the EOCC, with credit for 37 days served. She’ll be on community control for three years.
“Take advantage of the counseling they have in there. Take advantage of everything they have,” Bickerton told Kenst, wishing her good luck.
Kenst could have faced a prison sentence of nine to 36 months. The term at the EOCC was recommended by the prosecution and agreeable to Kenst, whose attorney Chris Amato said “we think that will help her,” referring to her drug issues.
Kenst told the judge she felt well and the judge commented that she looked much better than the last time she saw her.
Joiner is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the shooting death of Ryan Virden at Kenst’s Homeworth Road home in March 2021. Kenst is on the list of witnesses in the murder trial and had to pay a bond to ensure her appearance at that trial, which is coming up in May. Court documents indicated Kenst and possibly Michael Spencer were at the home at the time of the shooting.
Joiner has also been charged with intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case for allegedly attempting to threaten or influence someone involved in his cases, specifically Kenst, on Aug. 4, 2021.
Charges for felonious assault and two counts of complicity in the commission of an offense also remain pending against Joiner related to him conspiring with Kenst to bring illegal drugs into the jail and for him allegedly causing serious physical harm to Rusty Altman, who also was being housed at the county jail at the time.
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