Hung jury for heroin possession case

Cary Ashby • Jan 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

A two-day trial last week about a heroin possession case resulted in a hung jury.

David A. Dalton, 43, of 313A Woodland Ave., Willard, was charged with one count each of possession of heroin and possession of criminal tools, both in connection with a July 23 incident. His Huron County Common Pleas Court jury trial started Thursday and the jurors started deliberating about 4 p.m. Friday.

"They were out at least 4 1/2 hours," court administrator Linda Stower said.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper and defense attorney Reese Wineman couldn't be reached for comment.

Willard Police Detective Jeremy Draper, Kasper's first witness, had testified about finding many suspected pieces of heroin-related paraphernalia in Dalton's dresser when police used a search warrant at the man's apartment.

Also testifying for the state were Chief Mark Holden, Officers Justin Nowak, Brian Slone and Edward Tackett as well as Anthony Tambasco, of the Mansfield crime lab.

Dalton took the stand in his own defense as did his wife and a female friend.

About mid-July, Draper received a tip about suspected drug activity at Dalton's apartment. The detective said he "conducted surveillance of the area" and took photographs July 18 of the house from the CSX Railroad property.

Draper, after determining the Dumpster behind the apartment serviced Dalton's residence, had the trash receptacle brought to the old fire station, where he inspected the contents.

The detective said he found two trash bags which contained suspected drug paraphernalia: Some used cotton and piece of tin foil, which was burned on one side and had alleged heroin-related "head lines" on the other. Draper said he field-tested the cotton and found it was positive for heroin. He logged both items as evidence.

Several officers used a "knock and announce" search warrant at Dalton's apartment about 10:15 a.m. July 23.

Draper entered Dalton's bedroom.

The detective testified he found a capped syringe, spoon, a cotton swab, an open knife, some "bloody tissues" and a magazine on top of a dresser. He said the top drawer reportedly held men's clothes, a bag of heroin spindles in a bag and a dinner plate with "powdered residue." Draper identified the items using photos that were displayed to jurors on a projection screen.

Dalton's attorney, Wineman, filed a motion to suppress evidence in late September. He had argued that "other than a substantial amount of traffic going in and out of the defendant's apartment" and the items found in the Dumpster, Draper "clearly failed to establish there was probable cause that the defendant, on the date of the search, was engaged in criminal activity of any kind."

Also, Wineman argued police didn't see "any evidence of drug activity ... taking place" in Dalton's apartment and the reported traffic there "was not identified, in any way, as being related to drug activity."

Judge Jim Conway denied the motion in mid-November.

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