Cleveland woman seeking to have arrest for alleged wrong-way driving in Streetsboro voided

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

A hearing on a motion by a Cleveland woman to throw out evidence that she allegedly drove drunk and in the wrong direction on Interstate 480 into Streetsboro in October 2012 will be held next month to give her new attorney time to prepare, a judge has ruled.

Attorney Stephen McGowan, the attorney for Ashley E. Stewart, 24, told Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman on Feb. 11 that he only recently was retained by Stewart to represent her in court. He said he has all the discovery material provided to her previous attorney by the Portage County Prosecutor's Office, and sought a continuance in order to prepare.

Assistant Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney said his office had no objection. Pittman scheduled a new hearing for 1 p.m. on March 25.

Stewart remains free on bond pending an April 23 trial on charges of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, operating a vehicle under the influence and refusal to submit to chemical tests, both first-degree misdemeanors. She was arrested Oct. 13 by Streetsboro police.

Streetsboro police chased Stewart's 2007 Lincoln into oncoming traffic, while she narrowly avoided several head-on collisions. She failed to stop or turn around despite being chased by two patrol cars at speeds of up to 80 mph.

Officers boxed in Stewart's car on S.R. 14 near Mondial Parkway and arrested her at gunpoint.

In a motion to suppress evidence, filed on Dec. 11, attorney Joseph Lanter sought to void Stewart's arrest as unconstitutional and get any statements she made to arresting officers thrown out of court.

Lanter argued that field sobriety tests by Streetsboro officers were not in compliance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines, that Stewart's arrest was unconstitutional and that officers "lacked reasonable suspicion to expand the scope and detention of (Stewart) by investigating her for drunken driving."

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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