New date for Springboro teacher hearing challenging ‘missing police videotapes’

Lawyers in the case of the Springboro teacher charged with drug abuse and child endangering after an undercover raid last May of her home in the city's Settlers Walk planned community are expected to return to court on June 22 for a hearing on whether "missing police videotapes" should affect her case, among other things.

The case of Amy Panzeca, 49, was scheduled for a status conference Friday in Warren County Common Pleas Court. There was no court action before the June date for a hearing on “all pending motions” was scheduled.

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Panzeca, a teacher for more than 20 years at Five Points Elementary in Clearcreek Twp., is on leave while facing allegations that she allowed her home to become the local “party house” and assisted her son in purchasing drugs using the on-line currency bitcoin.

She has been free on her own recognizance since August.

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In two motions filed after an April suppression hearing, Panzeca’s lawyer, Andrea Ostrowski, asked Judge Donald Oda not to rule on the suppression “until the matter of the missing police videotapes is resolved.”

Ostrowski said she would press her suppression motion if the tapes are brought to court and press for sanctions against prosecutors - including dismissal of the case - if they are not.

“At this time, the facts regarding the missing videotapes need to be provided to the Court and until the Court has all the facts, any decision on the Motion to Suppress is premature,” Ostrowski concluded the motion to delay a decision on the suppression.

In the other new motion, Ostrowski "seeks to compel" prosecutors to provide the videotapes which she learned of during the suppression hearing and suggests were "destroyed", citing a Dayton Daily News article.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell indicated his office would respond in court.

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Oda also has yet to rule on Ostrowski’s motion for suppression of evidence gathered using a search warrant issued by the judge that authorized the May 2017 raid of the teacher’s home.

The juvenile-court sentence ordered for Panzeca’s son in the case is on appeal with the Ohio 12th Appellate District in Middletown.

His lawyer also challenged the search warrant and fought for suppression of information gained in the raid, before the teen pleaded no contest to the charges against him.

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Amy Panzeca’s next hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on June 22 and expected to run through the morning.

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