AKRON, Ohio - Vicki Squibbs was one of the first people to show up on the first day of the Fugitive Safe Surrender program at The House of the Lord Church Wednesday morning.
Squibbs, 46, was finally ready to answer to a low-level felony warrant that dated back 10 years.
"Basically, my life stopped. I can't move on until this is past," Squibbs said.
She got into trouble with Akron police in 2004 for cocaine possession. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation. However, when Squibbs failed to complete a court-ordered drug treatment program, a fifth-degree probation violation warrant was issued for her arrest.
"I had to look over my shoulder all the time. I couldn't drive. I couldn't keep a job because you have to depend on someone to drive you to and from work."
At the urging of family members, Squibbs, who lives in Canton now, decided to face her fears and take responsibility for her 2004 warrant.
She felt comfortable turning herself in during FSS, an initiative in a faith-based or neutral setting, that allows people with misdemeanor or low-level felonies warrants to address their legal troubles.
On the first day of the event, 262 people surrendered. The event, organized by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, continues Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Diagonal Road in Akron.
Squibbs went through the booking process, which included fingerprinting and getting her mugshot taken.
She met privately and with a defense attorney and then reported to a judge in a courtroom set up inside The House of the Lord.
Judge Tammy O'Brien scheduled an arraignment date for Squibbs on July 2 before a magistrate.
While Squibbs could receive up to 11 months in prison for violating her probation, she will likely be given a break for giving herself up at Fugitive Safe Surrender.
"We certainly will be taking into consideration, by the judge, that she has voluntarily reported," O'Brien said.
Squibbs, who has a 5-year-old daughter, said she is anxious to truly put her past in the past. She believes her driver's license will be reinstated and hopes to get the felony charge expunged.
"It's a new life for me today. When I step out this building, out of this church today, my life will start again."
She also has remained drug-free for many years.
"That part of my life is totally gone."