Heroin overdose defendant agrees to first offender program

By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK — A woman who overdosed on heroin pleaded guilty or no contest Tuesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court as part of a plea agreement that included participation in a first offender program and postponement of a final sentencing decision.

All three counts against Barbara Harlow, 24 will be dropped if she successfully completes the terms of the program by Oct. 15, 2015, when she is scheduled to appear again before Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp.

Harlow pleaded guilty to one count of possession of heroin and no contest to two counts of endangering children.

The charges of endangering children were linked to her heroin overdose and subsequent transport to a hospital late last year. The children, her own, were present in the New Market residence where she overdosed, according to authorities.

Harlow was one of eight people from the area around New Market, Mount Jackson, and Edinburg who were arrested as part of a five-county drug crackdown conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies earlier this year.

Harlow’s attorney, Charles Ramsey said his client did not disagree with the prosecution’s evidence, but added that “it’s important to note there was another adult in the house who was able to take care of the children” at the time of her overdose.

Hupp ordered Harlow to complete 100 hours of community service as part of her participation in the first offender program.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com