Cocaine suspect acquitted

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Late Thursday night, a jury acquitted defendant Rhonda C. Lynch of having cocaine during a March traffic stop.

Lynch testified Wednesday she didn’t attempt to explain a suspected crack cocaine pipe found in her right coat pocket because the state trooper probably wouldn’t believe her story. She said she was on her way home March 12 after dropping off a 16-year-old girl at her mother’s Plymouth house.

“I told him I had someone in the van earlier,” Lynch said.

The defendant let the girl borrow a spare coat she had in the car during a March 11 ride. Lynch said the girl was wearing the same coat the next night and Lynch didn’t check the coat when the girl gave it back to her March 12.

Lynch denied ever having the pipe in her mouth. Trooper Jeremy Clemons, who said it’s impossible to test when the pipe was used last, asked Lynch at least twice about how it was used.

“I said, ‘I do not know. I suppose it was for cocaine,’” Lynch said.

An admitted “severe alcoholic,” Lynch told the trooper it was ironic she was in trouble because she had been “clean and sober for 12 years.” She also testified she had quit smoking and doesn’t drink or use drugs.

Lynch, who doesn’t have a license, said she gave the girl a ride at the request of a customer from her work because the teenager was stranded after an argument with her boyfriend. The defendant testified she took the girl, whose name she didn’t remember, to a white “triplex” off Main Street in Willard.

“Someone needed to take her home,” Lynch said. “I just wanted to give her a ride and go home.”

After the trip, Lynch went to bed with flu-like symptoms after taking cough syrup and Tylenol PM.

She testified the girl’s mother called her later, saying she hadn’t seen her daughter. Lynch said the mother probably used caller ID to get her number, since the girl used Lynch’s cell phone during the original trip.

Lynch suspected the girl was intoxicated before the second trip.

“The state she was in I don’t think she even knew where she was. She was wasted in my opinion. She said she’d been drinking all afternoon,” the defendant said.

Lynch said, in retrospect, she wished she had called police about the girl being drunk, but believed it was her mother’s responsibility to handle the situation.

The girl gave Lynch directions to the Willard “triplex” and her mother’s home in Plymouth. Lynch said she was able to find her way back to the first residence after the mother expressed concern about her daughter’s whereabouts.

Clemons testified Tuesday he stopped Lynch after she went left of center twice while heading west on Willard West Road. He said he also saw her blue Chevrolet minivan go off the right side of s Street after she turned right at the intersection.

“I’m not familiar with that side of town at all,” Lynch said of the “Dogtown” area.

A grand jury indicted Lynch, 52, of 524 Woodbine St., on possession of cocaine in connection with the traffic stop.

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