LIMA — The attorney for a Lima man charged with numerous rape and drug-related charges argued Thursday that law enforcement officials overstepped when they searched his client’s home in June of last year.
Attorney Kenneth Rexford claimed that insufficient probable cause existed for the execution of the search warrant at the home of Terrez Carter. Rexford filed a motion late last year seeking to have evidence seized as a result of that search warrant ruled inadmissible at trial.
Because Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed signed the search warrant in question, the Ohio Supreme Court appointed Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple to hear arguments and rule on the merits of the motion.
Carter, 46, was indicted in July 2018 by an Allen County grand jury in connection with an alleged rape that occurred on or about April 19 at a residence at 717 N. Metcalf St. Three additional rape charges, also first-degree felonies, were filed against Carter for alleged incidents that took place in 2015. The alleged rape victim in the 2018 case was different from the victim in the 2015 case, officials said.
Two kidnapping charges, each first-degree felonies, were included in the indictment — each related to the alleged rapes. Carter was also indicted for possession of a bulk amount of cocaine, a felony of the first degree.
During Thursday’s hearing, Rexford argued that videos depicting an alleged rape — found by police in a camera situated atop a tripod in Carter’s bedroom — should not have been taken into evidence because the scope of the search warrant pertained only to a rape that allegedly occurred in 2018. Scenes of what police and prosecutors said were rapes involving another woman some three years earlier were allegedly found on the videos.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Destiny Caldwell said the search warrant authorized by the court permitted police to seize and search any and all electronic equipment found in Carter’s home and to review any data contained within that equipment.
Pepple peppered both Caldwell and Rexford with questions as he attempted to discern the circumstances leading up to the application for and execution of the search warrant.
The judge has 30 days to render his decision on the defense motion to suppress evidence seized during the search of Carter’s home.
If convicted on all counts against him, Carter faces up to 117 years behind bars.