On Wednesday, Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout heard evidence from the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, Clay County Community Corrections and the Clay Community School Corporation regarding whether Cody Levi Sebade, 18, Clay City, complied with specific court-established terms of his electronic in-home detention.
"I've said this before, this is a sad case. A year ago, I didn't even know Cody Levi Sebade. The bottom line in this case is," Trout said to the young man at the end of the court proceedings. "Most kids in your position are so scared they wouldn't dare to violate a court order. You're on a self-destructive course, where you don't seem to be able to comply with any authority. In your current emotional state of mind, you're a danger to others and especially yourself. You just can't be trusted."
Prosecutor Lee Reberger provided the court with evidence showing Sebade's pattern of disregard for following rules, especially those established by the court.
According to Reberger, Sebade was under house arrest (and ordered to obey all laws) on an undisclosed juvenile delinquency issue (beginning Dec. 2, 2009, which the details are sealed due to it being a juvenile case) when he and Jessie Sowers, 18, Bowling Green, allegedly stole a Fentanyl Transdermal patch from an undisclosed individual on Jan. 1.
Sebade, Sowers, an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile and Haley Bryan apparently smoked the contents of the patch
However, within a few minutes of ingestion, Bryan apparently showed symptoms of an overdose, lost consciousness. The three youths allegedly drove around county roads in the Clay City and Bowling Green area for approximately one hour before they took Bryan to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for treatment. Bryan died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Sebade was originally charged as a juvenile in the Jan. 1 incident, which meant the court had to determine whether to detain or release him per protocols of juvenile court. He was ultimately released as part of the electronic in-home detention program with Clay County Community Corrections on March 5.
Home Detention Officer Evan Sutherland, Sebade's case officer, stopped by Sebade's Clay City residence on March 15. Upon arrival, Sutherland discovered Cody and another male family member in a truck parked in the driveway of the home. Sutherland testified to smelling alcohol on Cody's breath during questioning.
Sebade was detained as a juvenile on the violation.
Meanwhile, Sebade was waived into adult court for the allegations of his involvement in the Jan. 1 case. He was subsequently charged with class B felony dealing in a Schedule I controlled substance, D felony possession of controlled substance, D felony theft and D felony maintaining a common nuisance in the matter.
After a period of detention and another hearing, Sebade was returned to the electronic in-home detention program and another orientation process where the rules, expectations and the zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and controlled substance abuse were explained again on May 12.
The court ordered Sebade could be returned to the electronic in-home detention program on the provision he remain in the constant supervision of his mother at all times.
For almost three months, Sebade complied with all the rules of his release and passed all subsequent drug screens during the summer.
However, with school starting in August, Sebade's mother contacted officials about making sure court orders were filed properly that would allow her son to continue his education.
"He needs that," she said in court.
Reberger praised Sebade's mother for taking her son to work every day throughout the summer months and making sure her son stayed in compliance with the court order.
"We understand that she can't be with him every moment of every day, she has to work," Reberger said. "She took it upon herself to watch him."
A modification was made to allow Sebade to attend classes without his mother's constant supervision.
Yet, school officials at Clay City High School were concerned with Sebade's inability to follow requests to stay out of the common area of the facility and remain in the office until he could ride the bus to attend classes at Cumberland Academy and Northview High School.
On Aug. 25, Trout issued a two-page court order detailing specific instructions for Sebade to follow while attending school, which included being under the constant supervision of parents, grandparents or school personnel on the way to or from school.
"I had to write a specific two-page order detailing exactly what you were supposed to do," Trout said. "Once again, you continued to not comply."
On Sept. 7, Cumberland Academy Therapeutic Counselor Andrea Herbert witnessed Sebade leave the school bus and get into a car with another student, who had signed out of school 45 minutes before.
Herbert said the school bus driver told school officials Sebade claimed the driver of the car was his father, which is why the bus driver made the unscheduled stop.
When Herbert confronted Sebade with what he was doing, she said he replied, "I just don't like riding the bus."
Herbert said Sebade followed her back into the school, where she called his mother to come pick him up. Afterward, she contacted officials about the incident.
Although he didn't deny Herbert's testimony, Sebade added details to the story when defense attorney Geoffrey Creason called him to testify.
According to Sebade, a student on the bus confronted him about his involvement with Bryan's death.
"I didn't retaliate," Sebade said. "I just got off the bus and was running back to the school when I saw a friend who offered me a ride home."
Creason argued the minor incident was only a potential violation and the real purpose of the judicial system is to rehabilitate people.
"What's he going to learn sitting in the Clay County Justice Center for the next 90 days? It's more important that he be in school, receive counseling and his medication," Creason said. "Rather than for him to sit across the street and learn what he can from the inmates."
Reberger said the last infraction, while it probably could be considered minor, was one in a long list of Sebade's overall ability to ignore authority.
"When a parent says obey, a child usually does," Reberger said. "When a judge makes an order, a defendant should obey it."
Trout remanded Sebade into the custody of the sheriff's department to await further court proceedings and ordered arrangements be made to ensure he continues to receive proper medication and counseling while incarcerated.