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State v. Hrinko

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Muskingum

January 6, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
SARAH HRINKO Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. CRB-1501059

         JUDGMENT: Affirmed

          For Plaintiff-Appellee D. MICHAEL HADDOX Prosecuting Attorney By: GERALD V. ANDERSON Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant DAVID A. SAMS, ADAM J. GROSSHANDLER

          JUDGES: Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Baldwin, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Sarah Hrinko appeals her conviction and sentence from the Muskingum County Court on one count of child endangering. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On December 21, 2015, a complaint was filed in the Muskingum County Court charging appellant with one count of child endangering in violation of R.C. 2919.22(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. At her arraignment on January 8, 2016, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

         {¶3} Thereafter, a bench trial was held on February 22, 2016. At the bench trial, Detective Gary Hargraves of the Muskingum County Sheriffs Office testified that he was on duty on the afternoon of December 19, 2015 in a high crime and narcotics area when he observed a man going up to the door of an apartment that was known for drug dealing. He identified the man as Timothy Hrinko and noticed that he had a warrant for his arrest.

         {¶4} The Detective testified that Timothy Hrinko was driving a red station wagon and had been pacing outside the apartment complex for some time while talking on a cell phone. Detective Hargraves then parked next to the station wagon and discovered that appellant also was in the vehicle along with the couple's seven year old child, who was not in a safety seat. The station wagon contained clothing, blankets and pots and pans. When Timothy Hrinko was patted down, the Detective discovered two hypodermic syringes on him that looked like they had recently been used and arrested Timothy Hrinko on the outstanding warrant.

         {¶5} Detective Hargraves testified that he spoke with appellant and learned that she also had an outstanding warrant. Appellant told him that she and her husband had been using heroin and that they were in the area to find a place to stay since they had been living out of their vehicle. Detective Hargraves testified that he observed fresh injection sites on appellant's forearms. When asked about the child, he testified that she did not look malnourished and was wearing clothes. After arresting appellant, the Detective contacted Children's Services to take custody of the child.

         {¶6} On cross-examination, Detective Hargraves admitted that he had not personally observed appellant inject heroin or any drug activity. He testified that Timothy Hrinko went to the apartment of a known heroin dealer.

         {¶7} At trial, Timothy Hrinko testified that he went to the apartment to spend the night after appellant was molested by her grandfather and they had to leave where they had been staying. He denied being at the apartment to buy heroin and denied ever using heroin in front of his daughter. On cross-examination, he was unable to remember the last name of the individual who lived at the specific apartment, but testified that he had been to the apartment before to purchase heroin. He further denied that appellant had any idea where they were going. Timothy Hrinko also testified that they were going to lend their vehicle to the heroin dealer in exchange for a place to stay. ...


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