Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Muskingum
from the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee D. MICHAEL HADDOX Prosecuting Attorney By:
GERALD V. ANDERSON Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
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.
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.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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. ...