A judge tossed out evidence of marijuana use by a Clark County driver in a case where two local teenagers were killed in a car crash.
Trey Blevins, 19, still faces two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in the deaths of 17-year-old David Waag and 15-year-old Connor Williams. Authorities accused Blevins of being under the influence in 2017 when he lost control of the 2005 Toyota Corolla and crashed into a tree on the side of Wilkerson Road in Greene County.
The teens were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident and died at the scene.
However, key evidence used to charge Blevins was tossed after a judge ruled a drug test taken after the crash was obtained unconstitutionally.
Greene County Common Pleas Judge Stephen Wolaver ruled an affidavit filed to obtain a search warrant for the drug test left out important facts.
“The state and the defendant stipulated that omitted from the search warrant signed on August 21, 2017 was the fact that by the observation of officers at the scene to the crash, the defendant did not appear to be under the influence of marihuana and there was no evidence the defendant had the odor of marihuana on his person once he separated from the crashed vehicle and there were no obvious signs of impairment of the defendant,” Wolaver wrote in his ruling suppressing the evidence.
The Ohio Highway Patrol said the drug test showed Blevins did have marijuana in his system during the crash.
However, witnesses at the scene said Blevins didn’t appear high, the court entry says.
“A strong odor of burnt marihuana came from the vehicle with marihuana found on one of the deceased individuals,” the entry says. “A passenger in the car indicated the two deceased individuals earlier went to a house to buy marihuana and while in the car, they both smoked the marihuana in the vehicle, but the defendant did not to his belief. The defendant stated he did not remember the last time he smoked marihuana but had not smoked marihuana at least in the last two days. The defendant confirmed the two deceased individuals were smoking marijuana while in the vehicle.”
Blevins attorney, Jon Paul Rion, said his client wasn’t under the influence during the crash.
“It’s better for the truth to come out,” Rion said. “The lab result would have been confusing for a jury.”
Marijuana can stay in the system for days, he said Wednesday, but doesn’t mean his client was under the influence the day of the crash.
“All the officers testified that he did not exhibit being under the influence,” Rion said.
Wolaver noted in his ruling, issued Nov. 20, that the charges both deal with impaired driving and he felt the warrants didn’t have the probable cause to be issued legally.
“The search warrant is merely an attempt to find ‘some’ evidence of impairment not previously having been found even to a degree of reasonable and articulate suspicion,” Wolaver wrote.
Rion said he hopes the case will be dismissed soon. Greene County Assistant Prosecutor David Morrison said his office plans to continue to pursue the case but declined further comment Wednesday.
The families of Waag and Williams responded to the court’s decision Thursday.
”Those that are mentioned in the statements quoted in the news are no longer living to give their accounts of the events that occurred on August 20th, 2017,” the statement reads. “The families hope that, moving forward, the only two living individuals that do know of what happened that day release information related to the accident with compassion, empathy, and complete honesty for Connor and David. Above all, the families would like to point out that detailed accounts of 8/20/2017 in the hours leading up to the car crash can be made by both the Williams and Waag families that don’t paint the same picture of Connor and David that these released statements have made. Despite this, the families have continued to show grace and kindness to others involved in the situation, and ask that others do the same.”
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