Lawyer pleads for innocence of CPS teacher arrested for drug trafficking

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – The drug allegedly found in the home of a Cincinnati public school teacher did not belong to him, according to defense attorney Mark Krumbein.

Krumbein, who represents Laura Morand, 36, said the drugs belonged to a young man Morand took in after his father’s death.

He also says Morand had no knowledge of the alleged drug possession or trafficking that gave rise to the criminal charge against her.

Morand was arrested Thursday at Evanston Academy, where she teaches math and social studies in grades five and six.

The police officers who arrested her described her, according to Krumbein, as “the most distraught person they have ever spoken to.” He continued, “So I’m surprised that she is accused of allegedly knowing what was going on.”

The arrest follows a November 2 search of Morand’s Clifford Road home, in which investigators say they found “a large quantity of drugs” packaged for distribution.

Morand, who has no criminal record, now faces a drug authorization charge. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Tom Heekin released her without bail Friday morning.

The Norwood Police Department is investigating. A spokesperson said the Morand case was linked to a criminal case against 19-year-old Paul McGee.

McGee was arrested on November 2. Eight days later, a grand jury charged him with 15 counts, including possession and preparation for shipment of nearly 33 grams of fentanyl and an unknown amount of heroin.

McGee posted a $ 100,000 cash bond on November 30.

Krumbein, who also represented McGee, said Morand took the 19-year-old away a few years ago after his father was murdered.

Eventually, Morand got custody of McGee. Now that he’s an adult, according to Krumbein, he no longer lives with her full-time. But he and his 3 month old baby stay there frequently.

“She’s kind of like a second mother to him, but he also has a young baby and he’s sometimes with the mother of his child, and sometimes they all stay together at [Morand’s] home, so it’s a pretty close connection, ”Krumbein said.

“[Morand] kept a door open for him when he wanted to come home so she was a great help to him and sadly she was charged with allowing drug addiction in the home.

According to court documents, Morand is no stranger to McGee’s history of drug offenses.

In February, Morand posted bail for McGee after his arrest on a drug trafficking charge that a grand jury ultimately ignored. She did the same in April, although in that drug possession case he was convicted by plea.

Krumbein claims his innocence.

“This is a case where ‘no good deed goes unpunished”, “he said. “She was doing a lot of good things. She is a devout Catholic. And all of a sudden she was arrested at school, and it was very embarrassing and humiliating for her.

The lawyer offers Morand’s work as an excuse for his alleged ignorance of the drug trafficking that investigators say took place inside his home.

“She’s a full-time teacher and she’s not always at home,” he said.

Morand’s case will then go to a grand jury.

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