The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 16, 2013

Snyder County inmates seek dismissal of drug possession charges

SUNBURY — MIDDLEBURG — Two Snyder County Prison inmates are asking a Court of Common Pleas judge to toss drug possession charges against them because surveillance footage of the alleged crime wasn’t preserved by a county detective.

Heidi R. Foulds, 29, of Milton, and Brandy Baumgardner, 39, of Beaver Springs, were serving time in the jail near Selinsgrove last January when they allegedly tested positive for Methadone, a painkiller used to treat addiction.

Both are scheduled to be tried in late September on charges of possession of a controlled substance by an inmate.

On Friday, they each appeared at a court hearing on a motion to dismiss the charges before Snyder County Judge Michael H. Hudock citing county detective William Neitz Jr.’s failure to preserve videotape of the female wing of the prison at the time of the alleged crime occurred.

According to the written motion filed by Foulds attorney, Lonnie Hill, two surveillance cameras are installed in the female wing and footage is maintained for four weeks before it is recorded over.

Attending the hearing were Neitz and Warden Ruth Rush, who each were called by the defense to testify.

Before Hill or attorney Hugh Benson, representing Baumgardner, had a chance to question the detective, District Attorney Michael Piecuch asked the judge to dismiss their motion.

The prosecutor questioned how the absence of video tape of the inmates could be useful to the defense.

Hill responded in detail how the inmates’ claims of innocence would be supported by the video.

Pointing out that Hill did not include that information in his written motion, Hudock granted Piecuch’s request “without prejudice.” That means Hill and Benson will be allowed to submit an amended motion to the court requesting dismissal of the charges prior to trial.

 

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