Cadillac woman accepts plea in Cadillac drug overdose case

In this Cadillac News file photo, Kelly Sue MacDonald was arraigned in 28th Circuit Court this past September via video from Huron Valley Women\'s Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti. MacDonald, 42, of Cadillac pleaded guilty Friday in 28th Circuit Court from a Ypsilanti prison on charges on drug-related offenses that led to the overdose death of a Cadillac man.

CADILLAC — A 42-year-old Cadillac woman pleaded guilty Friday in 28th Circuit Court from a Ypsilanti prison on charges on drug-related offenses that led to the overdose death of a Cadillac man.

Kelly Sue MacDonald pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, possession of a mixture of heroin/fentanyl less than 25 grams, use of methamphetamine and use of heroin for her connection with an incident on March 31 in Cadillac. She also pleaded guilty to a habitual offender second offense as part of her plea.

In exchange for that plea, charges of delivery of a controlled substance, a mixture containing heroin/fentanyl, causing death, conspiracy to delivery or manufacture heroin less than 50 grams, possession of heroin less than 25 grams, the second or subsequent offense notices on the use of methamphetamine and use of heroin offenses and a habitual offender fourth offense notice will be dismissed at sentencing.

Both sides also agreed to allow the sentencing, in this case, to run concurrent to the prison sentence MacDonald is currently serving.

At sentencing, MacDonald faces up to 15 years in prison.

MacDonald's legal counsel Patrick Cherry said he believed the plea reached was a fair resolution to this case. He also said he believes his client has been doing a lot since she was sent to prison last summer.

"Ms. MacDonald has been doing a lot since she has been in prison to make herself better. So much so the prosecutor (Jason Elmore) commented on how healthy she looked," Cherry said. "I think that she is working very hard to get home to her children, who she misses. I think that this has been a significant moment in her life."

Cherry also said during her time in prison, MacDonald has made a lot of progress including earning her GED diploma as well as going through a basic substance abuse treatment course. He noted she also was in the process of completing an advance substance abuse treatment course, which is why she will not be sentenced until sometime in April.

MacDonald has done a "rededication of her life" since she went to prison, according to Cherry.

"I would never claim (prison) is a place any of us should go, but I think it was a good place for her because it made some serious improvements in her life," he said.

Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore this case again shows that addicts are continuing to use and share their drugs even at the risk of death. He also said this is another example that Wexford County as a whole has a drug epidemic.

"It is literally killing us. I say it every day — over and over — drugs are not a victimless crime," Elmore said.

In September, MacDonald stood mute to seven felonies including charges of delivery of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl causing death and conspiracy to deliver heroin less than 50 grams. She also was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of heroin less than 25 grams, possession of a controlled substance, a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl, less than 25 grams, use of methamphetamine second or subsequent offense and use of heroin second or subsequent offense. All the charges stem from her connection with an incident on March 31 in Cadillac.

A not guilty plea was entered in September on her behalf by Cherry.

On March 31, Cadillac police along with Traverse Narcotics Team detectives were alerted of a possible overdose in a Cadillac motel, according to a TNT press release.

Detectives said when officers arrived, they found Adam Leyko, 30, unresponsive from a suspected drug overdose. He was pronounced dead by medical responders. An autopsy was requested and completed at the request of the medical examiner, which confirmed the victim died because of a drug overdose involving a combination of methamphetamine, fentanyl, morphine, norfentanyl, and amphetamine.

Police said during the investigation, they were able to determine MacDonald had occupied the room where the victim was found. Surveillance video from the hotel and witness statements also indicated she was on the scene just before officers arrived, according to police.

MacDonald was arrested March 31 after a traffic stop for outstanding warrants and additional charges unrelated to the death of Leyko, according to TNT.

Elmore said after MacDonald found Leyko dead, she gathered her things and fled the motel instead of waiting for medical personnel. She called a friend for help and Elmore said that friend, who was a relative of Leyko, told the police about the call and agreed to assist them.

The Michigan State Police staged a traffic stop of the vehicle driven by the friend, but MacDonald resisted the officers, Elmore said. She attempted to ingest a syringe containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, according to Elmore.

In June, she was sentenced to between 16 months-2 years in prison with 85 days credited for guilty pleas to two counts of police officer assault, resist or obstruct for her actions during that traffic stop. 

Cadillac News