A Texas truck driver accused of having an arsenal of weapons and drugs at Kings Island will ask a judge Monday to suppress evidence in the case.
Rodney Grisham, 37, is charged with one count of having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony, and one count of drug possession, a fifth-degree felony.
The Dallas, Tex. man is scheduled to stand trial on the charges Thursday in Warren County Common Pleas Court. If convicted, he faces up to six years in prison.
But attorneys for Grisham want the evidence in the case thrown out, arguing it was improperly obtained by Mason police.
Judge Robert Peeler heard brief testimony on the matter on Sept. 6 before rescheduling the hearing to continue on Monday.
Kings Island security personnel apprehended Grisham at the Mason amusement park on July 2 after receiving reports that he had displayed unusual behavior towards children.
The security officers asked Grisham to return with them to the park’s security office, where Mason Police Det. Toni Hoelke was working an off-duty detail at the park.
Hoelke said she took Grisham into an interview room and read him his rights, but said he was initially not under detention and free to leave, according to court documents.
Grisham’s attorneys argue that armed park police officers escorted Grisham to the security office by a “show of force” and that once in the interview room, he was separated from the exit and did not believe he was free to leave.
During the interview, Hoelke advised Grisham she had reviewed video surveillance of his interaction with the child — although no such video existed — and told him she did not believe he intended to snatch the toddler, according to court documents.
Upon further questioning, Hoelke said Grisham admitted to having a loaded shotgun in his truck and being a convicted felon. Grisham’s criminal history prohibits him from owning a gun, according to police. That history includes a prior felony offense of violence conviction out of Kansas.
Officers also discovered he had worn sunglasses containing a hidden video camera which they say he used to record children at the park throughout the day.
Grisham’s attorneys say he gave police limited consent to search his truck and take possession of his laptop computer, electronics and firearms, but did not give police permission to do a full search of the vehicle.
Police obtained a search warrant for the truck on July 3. Among items seized were more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition; three guns, one of them a loaded shotgun; three knives; two containers of the chemical irritant Mace, prescription medication in an unmarked bottle and gun parts, including laser sights, grips and a shoulder holster.
Grisham’s attorneys say that after Hoelke acknowledged that no criminal activity had occurred, police lacked reasonable suspicion to continue to detain Grisham and that any evidence obtained after that point should be suppressed.
Hoelke told the judge she only said that in an attempt to build a rapport with Grisham as part of the investigation and that she continued to suspect Grisham of having child pornography on his laptop computer.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell has said his office found no evidence Grisham planned or attempted to abduct a child.
Grisham remains in custody at the Warren County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Testimony in the matter is expected to resume at 3 p.m. Monday.