A Walla Walla man who recently pleaded guilty to several drug-related crimes made a tearful appeal for treatment in addition to some prison time and was granted his request against prosecution’s wishes.
David L. Mills, 38, appeared in Walla Walla County Superior Court on Friday, April 23, and asked Judge Brandon L. Johnson for a sentencing that involved both prison time and a drug offender sentencing alternative, or DOSA, which would reduce his prison time but also place him in a treatment program.
Mills pleaded guilty to drug delivery charges and taking a vehicle without permission in a plea deal with prosecutors.
However, prosecutors didn’t agree on the recommendation.
“This case doesn’t cry out for DOSA,” said Walla Walla County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Gabriel Acosta. “In fact, it cries against DOSA because of the large amount of street drugs.”
Mills’ attorney, Julie Carlson Straube, made a long statement to the court, saying she overheard a phone call between Mills and his friend, without their knowledge, in which the friend said some people wanted to bail Mills out.
Mills, however, told this person that he didn’t want to return to those friends and wanted out of his lifestyle of drug abuse.
“The revolving door is closing,” Mills said to Johnson. “I didn’t choose the life I was born into.”
Carlson Straube said Mills was introduced to meth at 12. The attorney and client described Mills’ story of eventually stopping the drug use but then relapsing last year.
As a result, they said, Mills’ wife and children left. Shortly thereafter, he was busted by College Place police for the drug offenses.
Mills begged the court multiple times during hearings since that arrest, saying he needed “help” and not prison.
Then his wife addressed the court.
“I just want to let Mr. Acosta know that his concerns are the same concerns I have,” a tearful Sarah Mills said.
She said she told her husband to take the plea deal and take responsibility, even though he strongly disagreed with the accusation that many of the drugs found were his.
“Sending him to prison will make him a 60-year-old drug dealer,” Sarah Mills said. “That’s why he needs the treatment ... He can’t get work because his name is always in the papers ... Our family always has to move ... Please ... give him the treatment.”
Johnson ruled in favor of the DOSA recommendation, saying that he didn’t perceive David Mills as some sort of “drug kingpin.”
“I think addiction a lot of times is akin to cancer,” Johnson said. “(But) you’re going to have to choose to be in remission.”
Johnson ordered David Mills to 45 months in prison, followed by 45 months of community custody, drug treatment and $1,570.79 in fees and fines. He was given credit for 132 days already served in jail.