A search warrant was executed at 508 E. Boehringer St. Nov. 7 at about 10:21 p.m., Batesville Police Department Patrolman Trevor Comer wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed in Ripley Superior Court Nov. 12.
“Upon forced entry, the overwhelming heavy odor of raw and burnt marijuana was smelled” throughout the apartment. The officer found Joshua Gutzwiller, 32, coming out of a bathroom, where he was attempting to flush and destroy marijuana. The court document said, “Joshua had dumped a large amount of marijuana buds into the toilet water and he was secured prior to being able to flush the marijuana.”
Three children were also located inside of the home. All were exposed to the heavy marijuana odor and smoke along with their mother, Katherine Connelly, 28, who was upstairs with them. According to Comer, “It was later determined that one of the children exposed to the heavy odor and environment suffers from cystic fibrosis. Arrangements were immediately made to remove the children from the home for health concerns.”
During the search, multiple cut straws commonly known as “snort tubes” and “pen tubes” with residue inside were located in the downstairs bathroom and kitchen area, a non-needle syringe with THC liquid was in that bathroom, a partially smoked marijuana cigarette in a green container was found in a kitchen drawer, and a white container next to the sink contained an Oxycodone (opioid used for pain) tablet, a Schedule II controlled substance, with no prescription available. Also discovered there were a pill bottle with the label removed containing multiple Gabapentin pills (used in the treatment of shingles and epilepsy) and a prescription bottle with another person's name for Doxycycline (an antibiotic) with numerous capsules inside.
In the living room area, one snort tube was field tested and showed a positive result for cocaine. Also located there were THC vape cylinders that field tested positive for THC and a single Gabapentin pill.
The officer noted, “All items of illegal contraband were located within the reach of where the juvenile children could come in contact or pick up these items ...”
Gutzwiller was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice, neglect of a dependent, possession of a narcotic drug and unlawful possession or use of a legend drug, Level 6 felonies; possession of marijuana – prior, a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
Gutzwiller’s initial hearing was held by Ripley Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Sharp Nov. 13. He scheduled two pretrial conferences for Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. and March 30 at 3 p.m. The bond was set at $2,500 cash.
Connelly was charged with one Level 6 felony, neglect of a dependent. Her initial hearing took place Nov. 18 at 9 a.m., when Sharp set two pretrial conferences for Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. and March 30 at 3 p.m.
A jury trial for both is slated to begin April 21 at 9 a.m.