|Judge critical of coach Andy Reid's home|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 02 November 2007 00:24|
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A football injury at age 14 introduced potent painkillers to the middle son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid and he said in court that he's been lost in their grip ever since.|
Britt Reid, 22, described his eight-year struggle with painkillers and other drugs at his sentencing in a road-rage case Thursday, the same day his older brother Garrett, 24, was sent to prison for a heroin-related car crash.
``This is a family in crisis,'' said Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill, who questioned whether the young men should return to their parents' home after they serve their jail terms. ``There isn't any structure there that this court can depend upon.''
The judge noted that Andy and Tammy Reid love their sons and have supported them through repeated attempts at drug rehabilitation. But he wondered aloud how the parents could be blind to the long list of drugs, guns and ammunition that police found in the Reids' home and vehicles.
And he said he thought that both defendants had been overmedicated throughout much of their lives. Britt Reid said he had been prescribed as many as five drugs at a time by some of his doctors, including Valium, Prozac, Adderall and some anti-addiction medicines.
``These are highly addictive medications that are just around the house with two addicts in it,'' O'Neill said. ``It sounds more or less like a drug emporium ... .''
Andy and Tammy Reid sat together in court but did not testify during the hearing and declined to comment afterward.
``Andy and Tammy are supportive of their son. That has been their position since this all began,'' Garrett Reid's defense attorney, Ross Weiss, said after his client's hearing.
Britt Reid was sentenced to eight to 23 months in jail for pointing a gun at another driver on Jan 30. He pleaded guilty to charges including carrying a firearm without a license. Garrett Reid was sentenced to two to 23 months in jail for the high-speed crash, which injured the other driver.
But O'Neill offered both the chance to leave jail early if they are accepted into an intensive drug court program he runs. Each agreed to apply.
``I'm at the point in my life where I have already made the decision that I don't want to die doing drugs,'' Garrett Reid recently told a probation officer, the judge said. ``I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion.''
Police found a .45-caliber pistol, a shotgun and hollow-point bullets along with cocaine, marijuana and painkillers in Britt Reid's car, which was registered to his mother. They found vials of heroin and steroids, more than 200 pills and a drug scale in the car of Garrett Reid, who tested positive for heroin and admitted having used it that day.
While police found only weapons and ammunition - and not drugs - when they searched the house, O'Neill's ``drug emporium'' remark apparently referred to their numerous prescriptions and to remarks Britt Reid made about randomly pulling the painkiller Vicodin instead of a health supplement out of a pill drawer.
Garrett Reid, speaking in court and in the statement to the probation officer, said he made a fast descent into hard drugs and enjoyed being the rich kid who dealt drugs in poor, violent Philadelphia neighborhoods and in the tony Main Line suburbs.
His addiction persists, according to authorities, who said they found 89 prescription drug pills in Reid's jail cell Thursday morning. They believe he smuggled them in his rectum when he was jailed earlier this week.
``That's consistent with someone as severely drug addicted as he is,'' said the prosecutor, Senior Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo.
Garrett Reid said he didn't use drugs until he graduated from high school, then started with marijuana and alcohol at age 18. That was followed by prescription pain killers Percocet and OxyContin, and then cocaine and heroin. By 20, he was in drug rehab.
Reid said he sold drugs to his friends and their parents in the suburbs and in a notoriously tough section of Philadelphia.
``I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life,'' Reid told a probation officer in a statement read by the judge. ``I could go anywhere in the 'hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer.''
Both Weiss and Britt Reid's attorney, William Winning, declined comment after the hearing. Andy and Tammy Reid were quickly escorted by sheriff's deputies and their personal bodyguard through the courthouse basement.
Both sons lived at their parents' home in the suburb of Villanova at the time of their arrests.
Andy Reid took a five-week leave from the Eagles in the offseason to deal with his family's troubles. He has routinely declined to discuss his sons' legal troubles, but said he would not resign from the team because of them.
Britt Reid said that everything he did, he did without his parents' knowledge.
The drug court program would require the brothers to report to authorities regularly, undergo rigorous drug testing and hold down jobs.
``I am more than willing to do drug court ... if that's what it's going to take to get clean and sober,'' Garrett Reid said. ``If you think that's what's best for me, I want to do it.''
Costanzo said authorities were satisfied with the sentence, noting ``the drug court is the best part.''
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