GREENFIELD — A teen charged with homicide after a cyclist in New Palestine was hit and killed is back behind bars after police said he was caught using drugs, violating an agreement that allowed him to be monitored at home pending trial, court records show.
Timothy Hughes, 18, was huffing canned air to get high, according to court documents — which officials say is evidence of the substance abuse issues that led to the accident in August in which 22-year-old Carla McCloud was killed. Police say Hughes has a history of substance abuse and was drunk when McCloud was hit; his blood-alcohol content tested at more than three times the legal limit following the crash.
Terms of Hughes’ $20,000 bond after his initial arrest called for him to be placed on home detention until his trial, records state. For the past two months, he has had to wear a GPS monitoring device and undergo screenings for alcohol and drugs during regular visits by Hancock County Community Corrections officers.
During one of these visits last week, an officer found a 12-ounce can of compressed air in a cabinet beside Hughes’ bed and questioned the teen, according to court documents.
Hughes admitted to inhaling the air, saying it helped him fall asleep, after first trying to convince the officer he used the product only to clean a gaming system, court records state.
A report from the corrections officer led Hancock Circuit Judge Richard Culver to issue a warrant for the teen’s rearrest, Prosecutor Brent Eaton said. Once Hughes is back behind bars, a hearing likely will be held to re-evaluate the terms of the teen’s holding while he awaits trial.
Hughes faces six felony charges and one Class C misdemeanor related to the accident — reckless homicide; operating while intoxicated causing death; operating with a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol level causing death; operating while intoxicated causing serious injury; operating with a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol level causing injury; possession of a narcotic drug; and illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage.
Hughes was 17 but was waived to adult court after his car struck McCloud and her cousin, 22-year-old Amanda Wheeler, while the women were riding their bikes around 9 p.m. along County Road 300S in rural New Palestine.
Hughes was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.28 percent, police said.
Wheeler was treated at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and released days later. McCloud was taken to the hospital but didn’t survive.
A few days after the crash — on Hughes’ 18th birthday — Culver ruled the young man would be treated as an adult in Hancock Circuit Court.
During the initial hearing, Hughes told the judge the accident was “my wake-up call” after a long struggle with substance abuse and run-ins with the law.
Hughes was caught with alcohol at the alternative school he attended and landed in juvenile probation last spring as a result, officials said. He had been enrolled in substance abuse programs, sought medical help for addiction and had attended a Greenfield Alcoholics Anonymous program minutes before the accident occurred, according to court records.
Following his original arrest, Eaton said he asked the judge to set Hughes’ bond much higher than what is expected for a Level 5 felony because he was concerned the teen would use drugs while awaiting trial. Now, he’ll likely ask the judge to revoke Hughes’ bond entirely, leaving him in jail until the trial, currently set for Jan. 12.
“Mr. Hughes has presented a clear threat to himself and other people,” Eaton said.
Hughes’ defense attorney, Jim McNew of Greenfield, did not return a call for comment.