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Published: Sunday, 11/22/2009

Woman avoids life sentence in drug case

MONROE — A woman who could have faced a life sentence in the drug-related death of a Monroe man in November, 2008, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Teisha Wandt, 23, of Monroe County pleaded guilty Friday before Judge Michael LaBeau in Monroe County Circuit Court to delivery of less than 50 grams of heroin, said Jack Simms, the county's chief assistant prosecutor.

In June, she was charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance causing death. That charge followed the heroin-related death of Jacob Zubkoff, 22, who was found unconscious Nov. 16, 2008, in his home. He died from heroin abuse, the Wayne County medical examiner ruled.

Wandt was arrested, after the autopsy findings were released, based on witness statements and evidence at the victim's home. Her trial on the original charge was to begin Monday.

She is to be sentenced Jan. 7. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. While she is unlikely to get that, “we'll ask for as much as we can get,” Mr. Simms said.

Wandt's lawyer, Jarod Calkin, could not be reached for comment last night.

Wandt remained Saturday night in the Monroe County jail, where she has been since June.

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