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
Muskingum County, Ohio GERALD V. ANDERSON II Assistant
Defendant-Appellant NIKKI TRAUTMAN BASZYNSKI Assistant State
John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Craig R.
Baldwin, J., Judge.
Appellant Emile L. Weaver appeals the judgment entered by the
Muskingum County Common Pleas Court dismissing her petition
for postconviction relief without a hearing. Appellee is the
state of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
During the spring of 2015, Appellant was a student at
Muskingum University, residing in a campus sorority house on
Lakeside Drive in New Concord. She denied and covered up the
fact she was pregnant.
On April 22, 2015, Appellant went into a bathroom in the
sorority house and, without assistance, delivered a daughter,
Addison Grace Weaver. The baby was delivered into the toilet.
While bleeding profusely, Appellant delivered the placenta,
cut the umbilical cord, and pulled the baby out of the
toilet. She then placed the placenta and the baby in a small
pail that was in the bathroom. She thereupon left the
bathroom and rested on a couch.
At some point, Appellant returned to the bathroom with a
garbage bag and placed the baby, the placenta, paper towels,
and some of her clothing inside the bag. She carried the bag
to the side door of the sorority house and placed it outside,
next to a garbage can. After this, she went back inside the
house to lie down.
Later that day, two sorority members found the bag lying next
to the house. They tore a hole in the bag, saw the baby, and
called the police.
After first responders came to the scene, paramedics asked
Appellant if she was the mother of the baby found outside.
Appellant responded she was not the baby's mother.
Appellant was also interviewed the same night by Detective
Todd Mahle of the Muskingum County Sheriffs Office. The
interview took place from 10:26 p.m. until 3:46 a.m. in a
break room at the Muskingum University Police building.
Appellant eventually detailed to the detective the events
which had occurred earlier in the day, although she presented
different versions as to whether Addison was born alive.
Detective Mahle did not utilize any recording equipment
during the interview. At Mahle's request, Appellant
returned the next day at about noon to provide a recorded
An autopsy was subsequently performed on Addison. The results
showed she had been born alive, but had died of asphyxiation.
Tr. at 347, 350, 382.
On July 22, 2015, Appellant was indicted by the Muskingum
County Grand Jury on one count of aggravated murder, one
count of gross abuse of a corpse, and two counts of tampering
with evidence. The case proceeded to a jury trial commencing
on May 10, 2016. Appellant was found guilty on all counts.
At sentencing, the trial court merged the two
tampering-with-evidence counts and imposed a one-year prison
sentence on said offense. The trial court further imposed a
three-year prison sentence for gross abuse of a corpse. It
ordered these sentences to run consecutively to each other
and to the sentence for aggravated murder. Finally, the trial
court imposed life in prison without parole for the offense
of aggravated murder. In support of its sentencing decision,
the trial court concluded appellant was not remorseful, she
had committed "the worst form of the offense," and
she had caused emotional hardship to her sorority sisters.
Sentencing Tr. at 10-16.
Appellant filed an appeal to this Court raising four
assignments of error: the trial court erred in imposing a
sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of
parole, the sentence is disproportionate to her conduct, the
court erred in imposing consecutive sentences, and the
conviction of gross abuse of a corpse was not supported by
sufficient evidence. We found we were without statutory
authority to review the sentence for aggravated murder, and
therefore overruled Appellant's first two assignments of
error on the basis of lack of appellate jurisdiction.
State v. Weaver, ...