PIQUA — A local woman was allegedly driving drunk with children in the car when she caused a wreck last week.
Jennifer P. Branam, 31, of Piqua, was arraigned Wednesday morning on first-degree misdemeanor child endangering and first-degree misdemeanor OVI in Miami County Municipal Court. Those charges were filed this week after Branam reportedly caused a traffic crash in the area of Echo Lake Drive and Anderson Street on March 17, at approximately 3 p.m.
According to Miami County Municipal Court records, Branam’s vehicle struck the driver side of another vehicle while she was driving halfway in the wrong lane. No injuries were reported, but the other vehicle sustained damage from the crash. There were also two small children in Branam’s vehicle.
An officer reported noticing the smell of alcohol along with Branam appearing disoriented and having red, bloodshot eyes after the accident. After failing field sobriety tests, Branam reportedly admitted to drinking alcohol before the incident. She was charged, then released.
According to online court records, Branam has no prior criminal history.
In other news:
• Another local woman was arraigned for child endangering on Wednesday in Miami County Municipal Court.
Sarah L. Minton, 20, of Piqua, was charged with first-degree misdemeanor child endangering last week after there were reportedly two incidents of a year-old child in her custody being alone outside without proper supervision or proper attire for the weather.
According to Miami County Municipal Court records, the first instance occurred on March 12 at approximately 4:45 p.m. when the child was found alone outside wearing only a t-shirt and diaper, with no adults around. The temperature at the time was 34 degrees.
The second instance was later that same day at approximately 5:30 p.m. According to court records, an officer observed the same child in the roadway on Wood Street attempting to open the door of a car parked on the street. The child was still only wearing a diaper and t-shirt. There was no adult supervision until more officers arrived on scene and Minton exited the home to retrieve the child.
Minton advised that she had been asleep during those incidents and that the child must have unlocked the door and left the home. When Minton was questioned by police, the officer noted that Minton “said nothing indicating she was unable or otherwise incapable of caring for (the child).” The officer also noted, though, that Minton was either denying or unaware of the first time in which the child had been outside on its own, according to court records.
Minton was charged due to the back-to-back occurrences as well as the circumstances of the child lacking adult supervision and proper attire, according to court records.
According to online court records, Minton has no prior criminal history.
• Piqua police assisted on a squad call last week for a suspected heroin overdose on the 1700 block of South Main Street. Timothy J. Mahan, 55, of Piqua, was charged with third-degree felony tampering with evidence in connection with this incident while another male subject was transported to the Upper Valley Medical Center for medical treatment. Mahan was arraigned on Wednesday.
• Garrett D. Asher, 43, of Piqua, was charged with fourth-degree felony drug possession on Sunday. According to Piqua police reports, he was found passed out in his vehicle at Kroger. He reportedly admitted that he was on heroin and that he still had some in his possession. Asher was arraigned on Monday.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336