Ex-Colts QB Art Schlichter could be sent back to prison this week … – IndyStar

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter, who suffers from dementia, Parkinson’s disease and, lawyers say, too many addictions to count could be sent back to prison this week, the result of a June incident inside an Ohio Hampton Inn hotel room where Schlichter was found unresponsive.
According to court documents, police responded to a report of an overdose at the Hampton Inn on Lyman Drive in Hilliard, Ohio, in June. Officers could not get Schlichter, 62, to respond. They collected a substance in the hotel room that later tested positive as cocaine.
At the time, Schlichter had been out of prison for less than a year after serving more than a decade for federal fraud charges related to a massive ticket scheme that bilked millions of dollars from his victims. He was living on supervised release.
The cocaine found in Schlichter’s room violated his terms of release and, in November, his probation officer filed “to have his term of supervised release revoked and have a term of imprisonment imposed for failure to comply with all the terms of supervision,” Schlichter’s attorney, Steven S. Nolder, told IndyStar.
Schlichter was charged with possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony. He will appear before Judge Michael H. Watson at 2 p.m. Friday in United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio.
“Do we admit or deny the violation occurred? Obviously, given the nature of the violations, they will be admitted,” said Nolder, a defense attorney in Ohio. “It’s up to the judge what sanction to impose.”
According to the charges, Schlichter faces eight to 14 months in prison, Nolder said, but a judge can choose to impose no time or make the sentence longer.
“The judge can say, ‘Boom, eight months. We’re going to start that today,'” Nolder said. “He can do 14 months or he can say, ‘Get your head out of your ass, get your head with the program, we’ll come back in three months and see where you’re at.”
Schlichter is hoping for the latter.
A former Ohio State star quarterback, Schlichter was picked fourth overall in the NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts in 1982. His life, since then, has been filled with gambling addictions, drugs and repeating brushes with the law.
Schlichter was released from his latest prison sentence in June 2021 after a run of sentences that spanned two decades — brought on by a gambling addiction that led to financial fraud, theft and shattered an NFL dream.
Court records show Schlichter became eligible for parole June 13, 2021, and was released from the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg, Ohio, the next day.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, Schlichter was listed as being under “APA Supervision” for the next five years. That meant Schlichter would be supervised by the Adult Parole Authority in Ohio, responsible for adult felony offenders returning to the community.
As part of his parole, Schlichter was required to sign a contract agreeing to a number of rules, including not to own guns, use illegal drugs or leave the state without notifying his parole officer. 
“My advice to anyone coming upon Mr. Schlichter is that they not engage in any business transactions or any purchases or any other transactions that would involve giving him any money,” Ron O’Brien, former Franklin (Ohio) County prosecutor who fought to keep Schlichter in prison, told IndyStar in 2021.
“(He) is a career criminal engaged in fraud as a career,” O’Brien said. “He just cannot help himself. He will do this the rest of his life.”
Schlichter pleaded guilty to a massive ticket scheme that bilked millions of dollars from his victims in September 2011. In that scheme, he promised college and NFL game tickets to buyers, but never delivered the tickets despite being paid for them. He was sentenced and released on bond.
Four months later, in January 2012, Schlichter’s bond was revoked due to drug use. According to court records, Schlichter was charged with violating the terms of his house arrest, testing positive for cocaine twice and then refusing to give urine samples. He was taken into custody.
In May 2012, Schlichter was sentenced to nearly 11 years in the Federal Correctional Institute in Florence, Colorado, and 10 years in an Ohio penitentiary. The two sentences were to be served concurrently, and with good behavior Schlichter was to be released Aug. 18, 2020. 
But from inside the walls of prison, just months before his scheduled release, Schlichter was having women outside the prison place bets for him, O’Brien told IndyStar.
‘It’s sad and it’s tragic’: Ex-Colts QB Art Schlichter’s life behind bars
He was also betting with other inmates, O’Brien said. Prison officials found out through e-mails and phone calls Schlichter was gambling from inside. He was banned from email for 90 days due to his gambling, according to prison records. 
In 2020, IndyStar spoke exclusively with Schlichter from behind bars. He said he wanted to tell his story of how he had been treated unfairly by the courts and prosecutors. 
When Schlichter was released in 2021, O’Brien said, “he is past the point of rehabilitation.”
Follow IndyStar sports reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow. Reach her via email: dbenbow@indystar.com.


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