Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 18 CR
Plaintiff-Appellee: BILL HAYES LICKING COUNTY PROSECUTOR
CLIFFORD J. MURPHY
Defendant-Appellant: KATHERINE L. WOLFE
JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon.
Patricia A. Delaney, J.
Defendant-Appellant Teddy E. Ridenbaugh, Jr. appeals his
conviction and sentence by the Licking County Court of Common
Pleas. Plaintiff-Appellee is the State of Ohio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On March 29, 2018, Defendant-Appellant Teddy E. Ridenbaugh,
Jr. was indicted by the Licking County Court of Common Pleas
on one count of aggravated possession of drugs
(methamphetamine), a third-degree felony in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A)(C)(1)(b) and one count of possession of drugs
(heroin), a fifth-degree felony in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A)(C)(6)(a). The counts carried a forfeiture
specification (U.S. currency) pursuant to R.C. 2941.1417(A)
Ridenbaugh entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. The
matter was scheduled for a jury trial on August 8, 2018.
Ridenbaugh moved for a continuance of the trial date because
on August 3, 2018, the State provided him with a police
report by Detective Kyle Boerstler. Det. Boerstler's
report contained a statement made by Ridenbaugh at the time
of his arrest where he allegedly confessed to the charged
crimes. The trial court granted the motion for continuance
and continued the jury trial to September 27, 2018.
The matter came on for trial on September 27, 2018. The
following evidence was adduced at trial.
On October 19, 2017, detectives from the Central Ohio Drug
Enforcement Task Force ("CODE TF") were conducting
surveillance on 452 Woods Avenue located in Licking County,
Ohio, for possible drug activity. Det. Tanner Vogelmeir of
the Licking County Sheriff's Office assigned to CODE TF
was driving a marked cruiser and was notified that a male and
female had exited the Wood Avenue residence, driving in a
blue Jeep Liberty in which the male was the passenger. Det.
Vogelmeir observed the vehicle and determined the male
passenger matched the description for Ridenbaugh who had a
felony warrant for his arrest. Det. Vogelmeir stopped the
Jeep Liberty and approached the vehicle. He secured
Ridenbaugh and searched him incident to his arrest. Det.
Vogelmeir found a knife, $510.00 in cash, and a blue key
chain with multiple keys. He seated Ridenbaugh in the back
seat of the cruiser and Detectives Hoskinson, Boerstler, and
Green arrived at the scene. There was no dashcam or audio
available of the stop because of a technical malfunction.
Det. Boerstler was advised to speak with Ridenbaugh, who
agreed to speak with the detective. Ridenbaugh had a brief
conversation with Det. Boerstler. Det. Boerstler testified
that Ridenbaugh said he and his female companion were going
to get something to eat. The conversation then turned to
Ridenbaugh's drug supplier. Ridenbaugh identified his
drug supplier, where the drug supplier was located, and that
Ridenbaugh was getting an ounce of methamphetamine from the
drug supplier for $700.00. Det. Boerstler stated Ridenbaugh
told him he was staying at the Woods Avenue residence and the
keys found on his person would fit in the padlock to
Ridenbaugh's room. Ridenbaugh did not sign a statement or
sign a Miranda waiver form.
Det. Boerstler testified he was the only police officer to
take Ridenbaugh's confession. Det. Boerstler recalled
that he drafted his report, which included Ridenbaugh's
statement, sometime around October 20, 2017. He did not know
when his report was submitted to the State. It was pointed
out that the first six sentences of his report were identical
to Det. Green's report. It stated:
On 10/19, 2017, the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force
--- and then in parenthesis it says capital letters, CODE TF,
CODE TF, received information from a confidential source - in
parenthesis it says CS, which means confidential source, that
Teddy Ridenbaugh was staying at 452 Woods Avenue. According
to the CS, Ridenbaugh possessed a large amount of
Methamphetamine at this address and was an absconder from the
Ohio Department of Corrections. After receiving this
information, Ridenbaugh's parole violation warrant was
Out of the hearing of the jury, Ridenbaugh moved to call the
prosecutor as a witness because he felt the jury should hear
that the State did not turn over Det. Boerstler's report
until August 3, 2018. He argued the date the report was
turned over went to the witness's credibility. The jury
could draw an inference that the report was inaccurate and
Det. Boerstler's testimony was unreliable. The trial
court overruled the motion to call the prosecutor as a
witness and found the date the report was turned over was
irrelevant. The trial court noted the trial was originally
scheduled for August 8, 2018. It granted Ridenbaugh's
motion to continue the trial date to September 27, 2018 based
on the August 3, 2018 release of Det. Boerstler's report.
It further found it was improper "to ask the jury to
render a verdict against the State simply because they're
sloppy with their discovery or they're late in it,
that's not the basis for them to make a decision * *
*." (T. 160).
of the West ...