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Convicted arsonist was drinking alcohol at June 5 verdict PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 14:36
Patricia Groves
A woman convicted of setting fire to her Rossford business was herself “lit” June 5 when hearing the jury’s verdict.
According to Becky Schling, lead court constable at the Wood County Courthouse, Patricia Groves was drinking vodka out of a fast food cup while at the defense table while the verdict was read in mid-afternoon.
When Schling was taking Groves into custody, she characterized her behavior as “out of sorts.”
“She appeared to be intoxicated or under the influence,” the court officer said. Her behavior was “consistent with someone who is intoxicated.”
Groves, 58, of Perrysburg, was convicted of aggravated arson and insurance fraud in connection with the Dec. 20, 2011 fire at her Downey Daisy Home Services business on North Dixie Highway in Rossford.
Schling said her initial reaction was that Groves likely had “just had gone out to drink her lunch” while awaiting the jury’s verdict.
The defendant was not in custody and came and went through standard court security screening at the entrance to the courthouse.
“We generally do not check soft drink cups thoroughly, we just lift the lid to be sure nothing is being hidden inside,” Schling said. “We allow people to have soft drinks in the building, but not alcohol.”
After the defendant was taken into custody, Schling assisted the family in getting to Groves’ car, where Schling discovered a half-empty fifth of vodka. When she returned to the courtroom to secure the room, she checked the fast food restaurant cup Groves had been sipping on during court proceedings and found it contained straight vodka.
Capt. Ronda Gibson, jail administrator, said the transport officer also found a bottle of pills on Groves.
“Those pills were verified to be a prescription drug, which was designated for her by a physician,” Gibson said.
She added they had been informed of some possible concern for Gibson’s health and safety so she said they “made appropriate referrals, for her health including her mental health.”
Asked if Groves was suicidal, Gibson said, “We were not told or had any reason to believe she was suicidal.”
After finding the alcohol, Schling said she notified Judge Alan Mayberry’s office and was told to discard the cup and its contents.
Groves remains behind bars at the Wood County Justice Center on a $50,000 bond. She will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Aug. 23 following a pre-sentence investigation.
There has been no indication of any additional charges to be filed in the matter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:18

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