The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Third plea entered in teen death

  • A 20-year-old woman, accused with two codefendants in the New Year’s Day “huffing” death of a 15-year-old Ardmore girl, has pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter.

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  • A 20-year-old woman, accused with two codefendants in the New Year’s Day “huffing” death of a 15-year-old Ardmore girl, has pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter.
    Jessica Todd appeared in Carter County District Court Thursday and entered the plea before District Judge Dennis Morris. The judge convicted Todd and ordered a presentence investigation.
    Todd was the last of the three charged in the death of Samantha Ozment to face the first-degree manslaughter charge. Britton Hobbs, 20, pleaded guilty Oct. 20 and Dillon Porterfield, 20, entered a guilty plea Oct. 27.
    The three are all currently detained in the Carter County Detention Center. Hobbs awaits transfer to a state prison after being sentenced to 10 years, with all but two years suspended, followed by supervised probation and payment of costs and fines. Porterfield is awaiting paperwork which places him on a deferred sentence under the direction of the district attorney’s office. Todd awaits sentencing Jan. 4.
    The first-degree manslaughter charge accused the three of causing the teenager’s death by “contributing to the delinquency of a minor by knowingly causing, aiding, abetting and encouraging a 15-year-old minor to become delinquent by giving her and encouraging her to ingest an intoxicating inhalant ... dust remover.” (Using intoxicating inhalants is commonly referred to as huffing.)
    Friday District Attorney Craig Ladd discussed the case and the pleas.
    “People who are aware of this incident should realize a couple of things. First, drug overdoses are oftentimes deadly. Most people would be shocked if they knew the number of deaths resulting every month in Carter County from drug overdoses,” he said. “Second, when a death occurs during the commission of a criminal offense, then those involved are criminally liable and may find themselves being prosecuted for homicide. Hopefully the prosecution of the three young adults involved in the huffing death of this juvenile will deter others from engaging in similar behavior.”
    Ozment died at a Wilson residence in the company of Todd, Hobbs and Porterfield. The group had been at the residence for several hours before the teen’s three companions placed a 6 a.m. 911 call. She was being taken to the hospital by ambulance when she died. A medical examiner investigator determined the girls’ death was suspicious and her body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.
    A lengthy Carter County Sheriff’s Department probe into the girl’s death followed. Todd, Hobbs and Porterfield were arrested and charged with Ozment’s death in June.
    At the time the three were arrested, Undersheriff Milton Anthony said, “The medical examiner’s (autopsy) report confirmed she died as the result of a dust remover. The investigation determined it (dust remover) was purchased at Walmart and taken to the Wilson residence and was held to her mouth until she passed out,” Anthony said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Todd had been free on a $10,000 bond until her plea Thursday. Porterfield had also been free on a $15,000 bond prior to his guilty plea. But Hobbs, who pleaded guilty in April to assault with a dangerous weapon in an unrelated case, had been confined at the Carter County Detention Center pending the outcome of his case.
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