MOUNT VERNON — The court of appeals agreed with a prosecutor’s argument that Knox County Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel erred when ruling statements made by a Mount Vernon woman following a serious injury crash were not admissible at trial.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals found that statements made by McKenzie Phillips, 20, to an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Nov. 20, 2016, were given voluntarily. The court’s decision reversed a ruling by Wetzel, who found that Phillips gave the statements without “a knowing and intelligent waiver of her (Miranda) rights.”
Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville filed the appeal.
According to testimony at a Nov. 9, 2017, motion to suppress hearing, Phillips told the trooper she drank two beers, the last about 40 minutes before the crash. The statements were made in an interview at Knox Community Hospital, while Phillips was in the emergency department. Phillips had a head injury and facial trauma, the trooper testified.