Judge Overrules Request To Suppress In Child Endangering Case

By
Debra Tobin - Logan Daily News staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Mon, Jun 2, 2014 9:58 am
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Logan Daily News
Karen Sharpe, 54, of New Straitsville, Ohio

Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace has overruled Karen Sharpe’s motion to suppress statements that she made to law enforcement officers in regards to the alleged crimes she is charged with involving two minor children.

Sharpe, 54, of New Straitsville, alleges the statements were made in violation of her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. She claimed in the motion to suppress that she was “under the influence of a number of medications and was unable to understand what was going on.”

However, the court noted that the testimony of Hocking County Sheriff Det. Ed Downs and SCOJFS Investigator Teresa Johnson was that “Sharpe did not appear to have been sleepy, disoriented or confused.”

Johnson also stated that she had discussed with Sharpe the effect that her medications might have on her, and Sharpe stated her medications had no effect on her ability to care for the children.

The court further found there was no medical evidence introduced by Sharpe which stated that her medications might have any sort of effect on her ability to understand and waive her right to self-incrimination.

During her arraignment in February, Sharpe pleaded innocent to one count of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; and two counts of endangering children, third-degree felonies.

The complaint filed with the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office at the time of her arrest in January alleges Sharpe became enraged at the younger of the two children for stepping on her injured foot and allegedly forced the child to the floor and stuffed a soiled pair of men’s underwear into the child’s mouth.

She then allegedly taped the underwear to the child’s face to secure it in place and forced the child to eat fecal matter. A videotape of the incident was recorded by the older of the two children and collected as evidence, but is not being released to the public due to its graphic nature.

Sharpe also allegedly struck the side of the older child’s face on Jan. 19, causing substantial bruising.

Sharpe could face up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, if found guilty of the kidnapping charge.

The two charges of endangering children carry a sentence of nine to 36 months in prison with a $10,000 fine, or 12 to 60 months in prison with a $10,000 fine, depending on the tier level of offense.

Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace denied Sharpe’s request for a lower bond. The bond remains in place as imposed by Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses in January, which is $500,000 cash or surety.

Sharpe remains incarcerated in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

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