Man sentenced to probation in child neglect case

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

JANESVILLE—A man who used heroin and passed out while watching two children was sentenced to two months of probation in Rock County Court on Tuesday.

Gene A. Isely, 34, of Monroe, was living with his cousin and her fiancee in Janesville on May 24 when the incident occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Isely had broken down a bathroom door to find his cousin dead of a heroin overdose that morning, according to the complaint.

The fiancee left her children, ages 9 and 3, with Isely when she left around noon to make funeral arrangements, according to the complaint.

She returned at 9 p.m., when her children met her at the door and Isely was unconscious on the couch, according to the complaint.

The woman started CPR because he wasn’t breathing on his own, and paramedics arrived and revived him with Narcan, according to the complaint.

Isely had been living with the family in order to get a fresh start and overcome his addiction, the complaint states, but he told police he snorted heroin that his cousin had left behind around 7 p.m.

A charge of possession of narcotics was dismissed as part of a plea agreement in which the defense and prosecution recommended the two years of probation with drug treatment and no contact with the children.

Isely pleaded guilty Tuesday to two misdemeanor counts of child neglect and to possession of drug paraphernalia.

“This is a tragedy all around,” said defense attorney Jason Saunders, adding that Isely was distraught at his cousin’s death and turned to drugs.

Judge John Wood said records indicate Isely has been fighting his addiction “for quite some time” and that the best course of action is treatment with the threat of jail if he does not live up to the terms of his probation.

“I would hope you’d take advantage of this huge opportunity. Otherwise you’re going to be back here (in court),” Wood told Isely.

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