Defendant Ordered to Thank Ohio AG for Drug-Testing Backlog

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WEST UNION, Ohio (AP) – A defendant who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in a methamphetamine case has sent Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine a court-ordered thank-you letter about the drug-testing backlog at the state crime lab.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Adams County Judge Brent Spencer, a Democrat, felt the backlog impacted prosecution of a 57-year-old Hillsboro man, and ordered him to write to DeWine about it. DeWine is a Republican.

A DeWine spokesman says it’s exaggerating to suggest the backlog endangered the man’s trial. DeWine’s office says the Bureau of Criminal Investigation completed the test for that case before the scheduled trial after authorities requested a “rush,” but the plea canceled the trial.

BCI’s superintendent says it has hired more forensic chemists to deal with an increased workload because of the opioid crisis.