The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 20, 2012

Meth dad bound over

Suspect waives right to initial hearing

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — A Conneaut man accused of making methamphetamine in the same house occupied by his five children was bound over to the Ashtabula County grand jury during a hearing Monday morning in Conneaut Municipal Court.

Shawn G. Summers, 25, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges before visiting Judge William Kobelak. After the brief hearing, Summers — handcuffed and shackled at the ankles — was returned to Ashtabula County Jail. He is being held without bond on a revocation matter stemming from previous charges in the Conneaut court.

Summer said little at the hearing, answering “yes, sir” when Kobelak sought to confirm his desire to waive his right to a hearing.

On Wednesday, Ashtabula County sheriff’s deputies conducting a drug investigation found a “one-pot” meth lab inside Summers’ home at 524 Lakeview Ave. The house is also occupied by Summers’ five children, ranging in age from 2 to 8 years, deputies said. The youngsters were removed from the house by Children Services and placed with a relative.

Summers is charged with five counts of child endangerment, illegal manufacture of drugs and illegal assembly of drugs. A woman who also lives in the house,  identified as Jennifer Tackett, faces five counts of misdemeanor child endangerment in Conneaut’s court.

Summers was represented at Monday’s hearing by public defender Rebecca Risley, while Carly Prather, assistant law director, prosecuted the case. Two well-wishers, including Summers’ mother, offered encouragement in the courtroom prior to the start of the hearing.

Investigators who entered the house found the premises in a deplorable stage, deputies said. The Conneaut Health Department was contacted and — after a visit — ordered the structure shut down. Photos of the interior taken by police showed the place contained garbage and animal waste, said Sally Kennedy, Conneaut health commissioner.

“There were totally unsanitary living conditions,” she said.