Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Ashland
from the Ashland Municipal Court, Case Nos. 17TRC00869,
Plaintiff-Appellee: ANDREW N. BUSH Asst. Law Director
Defendant-Appellant: JUSTIN M. WEATHERLY
JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.
Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.
Appellant Mattie Rose Gordon appeals from the Journal Entry
of the Ashland Municipal Court dated July 24, 2017. Appellee
is the state of Ohio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The following facts are adduced from the record of the
suppression hearing on June 16, 2017. We note appellee's
evidence at the suppression hearing included, e.g., Exhibit
3, the cruiser video, which contains audio of the
trooper's conversation with appellant, video of two of
the three field sobriety tests, and the arrest.
This case arose on February 4, 2017, around 11:54 p.m., when
Trooper Robert Marshall of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was
on patrol in the city of Ashland and observed a vehicle he
believed to be traveling over the posted speed limit of 25
M.P.H. Marshall checked his visual estimate of the
vehicle's speed with a radar device and determined the
vehicle was traveling 35 M.P.H.
Marshall turned around and followed the vehicle, a white
Volkswagen hatchback, which was the only car on the road. The
vehicle indicated a left turn, and Marshall activated his
overhead lights to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle
pulled into a gas station, but Marshall noticed a delayed
reaction by the driver, identified as appellant. Marshall
made contact with appellant. One male passenger was in the
Marshall asked appellant for her operator's license and
vehicle information; she seemed confused and handed him a
credit card. Marshall noted she was visibly nervous and
shaking. As she spoke to Marshall, he also noticed that her
pupils were constricted and her eyes were red and bloodshot.
Marshall shined his flashlight in her eyes but she did not
squint or blink. Based upon his training, Marshall suspected
illegal or prescription drug use.
Appellant eventually provided Marshall with her
operator's license but no further information. Marshall
asked her to exit the vehicle to verify the information she
provided and to ask her to perform standardized field
sobriety tests (SFSTs). Appellant briefly protested and asked
why she was being detained, but Marshall told her to put her
purse down and to exit the vehicle, and she eventually
As Marshall led appellant back toward the patrol car, he told
her it was his policy to check individuals for weapons and
asked whether she had any; appellant denied having any
weapons. Marshall patted appellant down and felt an object in
her vest pocket; he asked what it was, and appellant moved as
if to reach for it. Marshall asked for permission to retrieve
the object himself for officer safety, and appellant
consented. The object was an orange pill bottle containing
several different pills. Appellant said she didn't know
anything about it and that the vest wasn't hers.
Marshall placed appellant in the back of the patrol car and
Mirandized her. Marshall asked appellant again about the pill
bottle and she said she didn't know anything about it;
the vest wasn't hers and she had picked it up at the tow
yard apparently operated by the male passenger in her
vehicle. Marshall requested that another trooper and a K-9
unit come to the scene.
When asked if she used drugs, appellant said she took several
kinds including Adderall and Suboxone. Marshall recognized
Xanax pills among the pills in the orange bottle and asked
how recently she had taken Xanax. Appellant first said
"not too long ago" and then said she hadn't
taken Xanax since April. Appellant repeatedly said the vest
was not hers and she didn't know where the pill bottle