Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Supreme Court declines jurisdiction in appeals case
A Muskingum County case involving the prosecution and conviction of a mother who injected herself with fentanyl in the hospital parking lot on her way to deliver her child will not move forward after the Supreme Court of Ohio decided not to hear the case.
“While discouraged by the outcome of this case, our office will continue to seek any legal avenue available to protect vulnerable victims and prosecute offenders,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said. “While all the cases our office handles are important, some are more emotional than others. This case and those like it involving the protection of children are often the most emotional and hard fought.”
In April of 2022, a jury in Muskingum County convicted Tara Hollingshead of corrupting another with drugs after they determined the defendant did knowingly “administer a controlled substance to a pregnant woman.”
Hollingshead appealed her conviction to the Fifth District Court of Appeals arguing the law in question did not apply when a pregnant woman injected herself with drugs.
The Fifth District agreed with Hollingshead, resulting in the conviction being overturned.
In response to that decision, a press release was issued.
In the first release, it was stated: “the Fifth District Court of Appeals… [stood] in opposition to every effort to stem the epidemic of drug addicted babies in this state.” The release also stated that the court “wrote its own version of the law.” These statements unfairly characterized the actions of the Court of Appeals. “The Court of Appeals interpreted the statute in question differently than my office interpreted the statute. While I disagree with the court, differences in how a statute is interpreted should not imply that the judges do not care about the protection of children. Nor should it imply that the judges did not bring the care and diligence to this case that they bring to every case before them. This mischaracterization was my responsibility, and I will make certain in the future to choose words more carefully,” Prosecutor Ron Welch said.
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