Charges may be dismissedIf a key witness in several drug cases is not located by Feb. 11, charges against Jeanifer Dutton-Meyer will likely be dismissed officials said at a Tuesday hearing.
If a key witness in several drug cases is not located by Feb. 11, charges against Jeanifer Dutton-Meyer will likely be dismissed officials said at a Tuesday hearing.
Dutton-Meyer, who formerly went by Meyer, is accused of delivering methamphetamine, a Class A felony.
However, the confidential informant who allegedly witnessed the delivery has been missing since September, authorities say.
The dilemma may compromise Dutton-Meyer’s case and several other drug cases in Stark County.
“We’ve invoked the assistance of law enforcement … to try to track him down,” Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning said. “We’ve not yet been able to accomplish that.”
Dutton-Meyer was arrested in July along with 16 others when local law enforcement infiltrated alleged drug activity in Stark County.
The missing informant was a key witness in many of the arrests and a charge against one of the accused has been dismissed due to his absence.
During the hearing, Henning said he believes Dutton-Meyer should receive a deferred sentence, but has been unsuccessful in reaching a plea deal.
“Basically I’m understanding nothing short of a dismissal is acceptable for the defendant,” Henning said.
Mary Nordsven, Dutton-Meyer’s attorney, said there is not enough evidence against Dutton-Meyer.
“In my opinion this is a case where without the confidential informant, there is absolutely no case,” Nordsven said. “We could set it for trial, which would be in my preference and then the state is either going to have to dismiss or go to trial with no evidence.”
Henning said he will likely dismiss charges due to insufficient evidence if the informant isn’t located in time.
Dutton-Meyer’s trial is Feb. 16 and she will have the chance to accept a plea offer if the informant is found before the trial, Henning said.
Martin Morel, who was also arrested as part of the bust, was given a three-week continuance during his pretrial conference Tuesday.
Morel is accused of conspiring to deliver and delivering prescription drugs, both Class A felonies.
He did not attend the hearing because of a family emergency, said Cary Goetz, his attorney.
After the hearing, Henning said a plea agreement is being negotiated.
Like Morel, Henning believes he has enough evidence against some of the others to go to trial.