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Local Medina County News

Suspended lawyer found dead in Lorain

  • Wilsey-jpg

    Heather Wilsey

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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A lawyer whose license recently had been suspended for misconduct died Monday hours after she had been arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police found Heather Wilsey, 27, dead in a home in the 1000 block of West Eighth Street about 7 a.m., Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said. An autopsy will be performed Wednesday, he said, and the cause of death is under investigation.

Wilsey’s law license was suspended Jan. 19 after the court ruled she had violated attorney rules of conduct and posed a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.

The ruling was handed down after the Lorain County Bar Association requested the emergency suspension after learning that Wilsey twice had collapsed in Lorain in December and was revived with naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses.

At the time of her suspension, Wilsey and Medina County attorney Kenneth Lewis already were facing possible disciplinary sanctions for their actions June 9 when Wilsey crashed a car into a utility pole at East Avenue and Fourth Street in Elyria.

Police reported that when officers arrived, Wilsey and Lewis, who are both white, were walking away from the scene and that Lewis blamed the crash on a black man the couple had met at the Train Station Bar in Elyria that night. The black man fled after crashing the car, Lewis told police in an account backed up by Wilsey.

Police later determined the story was fabricated. Officers pulled surveillance footage from the Train Station that showed Wilsey and Lewis leaving the bar alone and Wilsey getting into the driver’s seat of the Acura and driving away.

Wilsey pleaded no contest in November to failure to maintain physical control and obstructing official business in that case, while Lewis entered a no contest plea to obstructing official business in October. He also has pleaded out in a September OVI case in Brunswick Hills Township after he and Wilsey were caught having sexual relations in a parked car.

A police report from Wilsey’s arrest Sunday indicates she may have been under the influence of narcotics when she crashed a car into the back of a building at 530 Broadway in Lorain just before 9 p.m.

When police arrived at the crash they found an unresponsive Wilsey in the front seat with no seat belt on and her breathing was shallow, according to the report.

An odor of alcohol wasn’t noticed by police, the report said, who suspected Wilsey of overdosing on heroin or another opiate. Police administered 2 milligrams of naloxone to revive Wilsey, the report said, and they noted that police had responded twice at the end of 2016 to assist Wilsey during suspected drug overdoses.

Wilsey was taken to Mercy Hospital on Sunday evening, according to the report, where she refused to submit to sobriety tests. After she was cleared at the hospital, police took Wilsey to jail where she told them she had been in a fight or assaulted prior to the crash.

Lorain police Detective Buddy Sivert said police are waiting on the coroner’s results for a cause of death.

Sivert said Wilsey was found dead at her boyfriend’s home.

“There was no sign of foul play or any injuries that we noticed at the scene,” Sivert said.

Wilsey’s attorney, Mike Kinlin, did not respond to a request for comment Monday regarding her death. Kinlin previously said Wilsey suffered from an unspecified medical condition that caused her to have seizures.

Contact reporter Jon Wysochanski at (440) 329-7123 or jwysochanski@chroniclet.com



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