Man caught ‘passed out’ with heroin pleads guilty

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON


— A man is fac­ing up to five years in prison after ac­cept­ing a plea deal in a case in which of­fi­cers found him passed out be­hind the wheel at an Elk­ton-area in­ter­sec­tion and then con­fis­cated heroin.

The de­fen­dant, Joshua Amos Kist, 33, of Bear, Del., pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of heroin and at­tempt­ing to op­er­ate a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while im­paired Tues­day. In ex­change for his guilty pleas, pros­e­cu­tors dropped the most se­ri­ous count, pos­ses­sion of heroin with in­tent to dis­trib­ute, and other charges.

Re­tired Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge V. Michael Whe­lan ac­cepted Kist’s guilty pleas. Elk­ton-based lawyer C. Thomas Brown rep­re­sented Kist while As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney David Par­rack pros­e­cuted the case.

Sen­tenc­ing is set for Aug. 5.

Kist’s co-de­fen­dant, Katherine El­iz­a­beth Co­tul­las, 25, of Mag­no­lia, Del., is fac­ing four years in prison after she also pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of heroin in


April, as part of a plea bar­gain. Her sen­tenc­ing is sched­uled for Aug. 26.

Mary­land State Police Tfc. John Wi l d m a n ar­rested Kist and Co­tul­las about 5:15 a.m. on Oct. 5, after find­ing him them passed out inside a parked ve­hi­cle at the in­ter­sec­tion of De­lancey Road and East Pu­laski High­way near Elk­ton, police said.

Wild­man had been dis­patched to that in­ter­sec­tion to check on the peo­ple inside the ve­hi­cle, later iden­ti­fied as Kist, who was slumped over the wheel with his foot on the brake, and Co­tul­las, who was slumped over in the front pas­sen­ger’s seat, police added.

“Both sub­jects were slumped over and un­con­scious. I no­ticed a sy­ringe in plain view on top of the cen­ter con­sole. As I peered in the ve­hi­cle, I im­me­di­ately no­ticed nu­mer­ous pill bot­tles scat­tered around the ve­hi­cle,” Wild­man wrote in his district court state­ment of prob­a­ble cause.

Wild­man re­moved the keys from the ig­ni­tion and en­gaged the park­ing brake, police re­ported.

The trooper had yelled through the par­tially open driver’s side win­dow, but Kist and Co­tul­las did not re­spond, police said. Wild­man shook Kist, also to no avail, prompt­ing him to dis­patch paramedics, police added.

Be­fore paramedics ar­rived, Wild­man and a backup trooper were able to rouse Kist and Co­tul­las, both of whom stum­bled as they walked to the police car be­fore sit­ting on the bumper as in­structed, police re­ported.

“In ad­di­tion to their pre­vi­ous un­con­scious­ness, they had difficulty walk­ing, ap­peared to fall asleep while stand­ing and were un­able to an­swer ba­sic ques­tions,” ac­cord­ing to court records.

Kist and Co­tul­las de­clined med­i­cal treat­ment after paramedics ar­rived and eval­u­ated them, police said.

Mo­ments later, Kist was placed un­der ar­rest be­cause he failed field so­bri­ety tests, police added.

A K-9 unit was dis­patched to the scene and the spe­cial- ly trained scent dog alerted to the pres­ence of il­le­gal drugs while scan­ning the ve­hi­cle, court records show. That prompted in­ves­ti­ga­tors to search the car and the sus­pects, ac­cord­ing to court records.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found and con­fis­cated drug para­pher­na­lia and nar­cotics, in­clud­ing about five grams of heroin, a quar­ter-ounce of mar­i­juana, a “crack” co­caine pipe and 230 pre­scrip­tion painkillers and an­tide­pres­sant pills in eight bot­tles, police re­ported.


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