LIMA — The attorney for a Lima man charged with providing the drugs that resulted in the death of a female acquaintance argued Monday that his client’s constitutional rights were violated when police failed to advise him of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination.
Michael Pasterchik, 29, was indicted by the December session of the Allen County grand jury on counts of involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree, and trafficking in harmful intoxicants, a fifth-degree felony, for causing the death Jennifer Moyer by providing her with toxic amounts of controlled substances on or about April 25 of last year.
During a hearing Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court, a detective with the Lima Police Department under questioning admitted that Pasterchik was not issued a Miranda warning prior to submitting to an interview with police that took place at the Lima Police Department.
Detective Matt Woodworth said Pasterchik was found by police at a residence on Brower Road where Moyer’s body was located following a 911 emergency call. Woodworth, under questioning from Marcus Moll, Pasterchik’s attorney, said that a “substantial amount” of drug paraphernalia was visible at the residence when he arrived. The detective, however, maintained that Pasterchik was transported to the police station only to provide possible background information into Moyer’s death.
“Did you tell him he was free to go at any point in your conversation?” Moll asked Woodworth.
“No,” the detective said.
“Did you question him about the events of April 24?” Moll asked.
“Yes,” the detective said.
“Did you read him his Miranda rights before questioning him?” the attorney asked.
“No,” Woodworth replied.
During earlier questioning by Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller, Woodworth said Pasterchik was not issued a Miranda warning because he was not considered a suspect at the time of the interview.
“He was not in custody,” the detective said.
Moll, however, asked the court to rule that the police discussion with Pasterchik was “clearly an interrogation.”
“He was taken from the crime scene, placed in the back of a police cruiser, driven to the police station and placed in a closed room. And he was never read his Miranda rights.”