Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Muskingum
from the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellant D. MICHAEL HADDOX Prosecuting Attorney
GERALD V. ANDERSON II Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Defendant-Appellee C. JOSEPH MCCOY, CARL E. MCCOY
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R.
Plaintiff-appellant State of Ohio appeals from the Journal
Entry of the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas granting
defendant-appellee Stephen Bashada's Motion to Suppress.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On February 22, 2017, the Muskingum County Grand Jury
indicted appellee on one count of possession of drugs
(Oxycodone) in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), a felony of the
fifth degree, one count of possession of drugs (hashish) in
violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), a minor misdemeanor, and one
count of possession of drugs (marijuana) in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), a minor misdemeanor. At his arraignment on March
29, 2017, appellee entered a plea of not guilty to the
Thereafter, on June 1, 2017, appellee filed a Motion to
Suppress. Appellee, in his motion, argued, in part, that the
trooper who stopped his vehicle did not have reasonable
articulable suspicion that appellee was engaged in criminal
activity when conducting the stop and that all evidence
seized as a result of the stop should be suppressed. A
hearing on the Motion to Suppress was held on June 20, 2017.
The following testimony was adduced at the hearing.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Samuel K. Hendricks
testified that on June 5, 2016, he was sitting on Interstate
70 when he observed appellee, who he estimated as
approximately 30 years old, slow down just prior to the 55
mile per hour zone. The Trooper testified that as he started
catching up with appellee, appellee got off on the Fifth
Street ramp. When he ran a registration check on
appellee's vehicle, Trooper Hendricks received
information that the vehicle was a black 2015 Honda hatchback
owned by a 57 year old female from Loveland, Ohio. According
to the Trooper, the vehicle that he observed was dark gray.
He was unsure of the year of the vehicle.
Because he was concerned that the vehicle might have been
stolen based on the issue with registration, Trooper
Hendricks initiated a traffic stop. He testified that he
immediately observed criminal behavior. Trooper Hendricks
testified that appellee only rolled down the window a couple
of inches and that appellee was very nervous and had trouble
getting his driver's license out because his hands were
trembling. Trooper Hendricks further testified that while he
was waiting for appellee to produce insurance, he observed
marijuana debris loose around the gear shift area. He then
had appellee exit the vehicle and sit in his cruiser.
Appellee, according to the Trooper Hendricks, told him that
he had marijuana in the center console of the vehicle. After
the Zanesville Police arrived, Trooper Hendricks searched
appellee's vehicle and found a small amount of marijuana,
a marijuana vaporizer, and some hash butter. In the luggage
on the backseat, he found an orange pill bottle containing
three dosage units of oxycodone hydrochloride. Trooper
Hendricks, when asked, testified that he did not believe that
appellee had a prescription for them.
On cross-examination, Trooper Hendricks testified that at the
time he ran the registration check on the vehicle, he had not
observed any traffic violations. He testified that he decided
to run the vehicle's license plates because it appeared
that appellee tried to avoid him by abruptly exiting the
highway and that appellee was excessively nervous after the
vehicle was stopped. Trooper Hendricks also testified that he
decided to stop the vehicle because appellee slowed down when
he saw the Trooper and exited the highway, because the color
of the vehicle did not match the registration, and because
the out of county vehicle was registered to a 57 year old
woman. Trooper Hendricks indicated that he was concerned that
the vehicle had been stolen and the plates on the vehicle had
The following testimony was adduced when Trooper Hendricks
was asked by the trial court whether the year and make listed
on the vehicle registration matched the vehicle that appellee
THE WITNESS: That - - on the registration, yeah. I confirmed
with the VIN, sir, yes. The vehicle had ...