Medina County Courthouse

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jury Finds Wadsworth Man Not Guilty of Drug Possession in Judge Kimbler's Court

On April 13, 2010, a jury in Judge Kimbler's court found Christopher A. Omrein of First Street in Wadsworth, Ohio, not guilty of one count of possessing cocaine, a fifth degree felony. The jury was selected on Monday and came back Tuesday to hear opening statements and the evidence. The trial started at 8:30 am and concluded by 4:00 pm.

The State introduced evidence that Mr. Omrein was stopped by a Wadsworth police officer early in the morning of May 28, 2009. The reason for the traffic stop was that the officer ran the registeration of the Mr. Omrein's vehicle. The registeration check revealed that the license plates were expired. When the officer stopped the car, however, he found that Mr. Omrein was driving the car, although it was registered to another person.

During the traffic stop, the Officer found a cut, blue straw which had a white residue on it. He also found a cigar which had been hollowed out and filled with marijuana. He asked Mr. Omrein about both items. Mr. Omrein told the officer that he accepted responsibility for the marijuana cigar, called a "blunt", but that he did not know anything about the cut straw with the residue. The State produced evidence that the straw contained trace amounts of cocaine, as well as other illegal substances.

At trial, Mr. Omrein testified that he was purchasing the car from a friend of his and that he had taken possession of the car on May 25, 2009. He further testified that when he acquired the car it had a lot of trash in it and that while he cleaned out the car, he did not have an opportunity to throughly clean it. He admitted on the witness stand that the marijuana "blunt" was his, but denied any knowledge of the cut straw.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before returning the not guilty verdict. When the verdict was announced, a friend of Mr. Omrein broke out crying. Mr. Omrein was then released from the condition that he report weekly to the Court's bond reporting officer.

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