When you start to poke around in the Haleigh Cummings story there is one re-occurring theme, drugs. Drugs are everywhere you look. It does not seem to matter if you talk Croslin, Cummings, or Sheffield, at some point the use of illicit drugs enters the picture. It has been widely reported that babysitter/lover/wife/divorcee teenage Misty Croslin had just come off a three day drug and sex binge on the evening that Haleigh Cummings went missing.

In the ensuing weeks, various other acquaintances and family(s) members all seemed to manage to get themselves embroiled in what I am guessing was unwanted publicity over their illegal substance abuse.

One member of the ever expanding side show stood apart, well in publicity at least. Attorney Kim Picazio went to great lengths to assure everyone that her client was ‘drug free’. Few of us believed it, yet, she appeared on national TV on several occasions, she even stooped down to us here at BNN and categorically stated that Crystal was not using. You can find the sound bite here. However, a couple of months after this great revelation, her story changes.

Now, that sound bite came from May/31, apparently Picazio was not aware of the drug issue until some time in June. Well excuse me for being simple minded, but addiction does not tend to occur overnight.

For over six years I worked with addicts of various types, booze, drugs, gambling, they came from a variety of backgrounds, but the drug users stood out. From the very first time I saw Crystal on TV, the word “DRUGS” shouted out.

In Ms Picasio’s response she says this:

The Department of Children and Families became aware of the allegations of drug use by Crystal. DCF  requested a random toxicology test of Crystal Sheffield, during the course of their investigation, as they found it relevant to investigate Crystal’s fitness as a parent. At that time, in June 2009, I learned from DCF that  Crystal’s infant daughter, Chloe, not even one (1) year of age, had been born with illegal narcotics in her system  due to Crystal’s drug use during her pregnancy. The DCF caseworker had not informed me of this DCF case against my client, and I had no prior knowledge of the case until that time. DCF dismissed the investigation  against Ronald Cummings, without explanation.

I felt as if I was only being told relevant information by the family, after a fiasco had occurred. I could  not represent a client who was not being honest with me, and was taking illegal drugs. To make matters worse,  In April 2009, Crystal admitted to me that she had taken unprescribed pain medication. Further, her mother,  Marie Griffis, reported to me that Crystal had stolen her step-father’s pain medication after he had surgery in  April 2009. I was extremely concerned over my client’s drug use. Crystal assured me that it was not an  addiction, and that it had only taken a few pills due to back pain from an old car accident. In April, 2009,  Crystal suffered another seizure, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. All of these incidents played out  loudly in the media. Despite my requests to family and friends to withhold all comments to the media about  Crystal’s seizures, they defied my recommendations. As such, I then was forced to issue numerous press  statements regarding Crystal’s status.

A vindication? I do not think so. A most telling statement comes from William Cobra Staubs:

Kim Picazio and I had conflicts during the case because she adamantly defended her client. During the  course of the case, I personally witnessed Crystal Sheffield take illegal narcotics on several occasions. I  attempted to tell Kim that her client was doing drugs. Kim Picazio did not want me releasing this  information to the public. I confronted Crystal’s family about her drug use, and they believed she should  be put in rehab. I was present at a meeting between Crystal Sheffield and her Father, Marty Sheffield,  when her father demanded Crystal go to rehabilitation for drug abuse and addiction. Crystal refused. At  that time, Kim Picazio and I were naturally on different “sides” of the case, as she was representing  Crystal Sheffield.

You make what you will of these documents, TJ Hart of The Sky 77.3 has them all available here.

Simon Barrett

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