Former Ottawa Hills student testifies liquor store clerk did not - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Former Ottawa Hills student testifies liquor store clerk did not ask for ID

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The trial began on Monday of the former liquor store employee linked to the death of Ottawa Hills teenager Brian Hoeflinger.  The 18-year-old died in a drunk driving accident last year.

13abc's Christine Long reports from the Lucas County Courthouse where Judge Bates told jurors this trial is all about the sale of a bottle of vodka, not the accident.

It has been more than a year since the death of 18-year-old Brian Hoeflinger.  He's the Ottawa Hills High School senior who got drunk, got into a car accident, and died.

In court on Monday, Hoeflinger's friend Blake Pappas, who is now a college student, took the stand in the trial of Nicholas Thompson.

Thompson worked at Foxx's Liquor on Dorr Street.

The 38-year-old is accused of selling a 1.75 liter bottle of Belvedere vodka to Pappas, Hoeflinger, and another underage teen on February 1, 2013.

Pappas testified that Hoeflinger was with him inside Foxx's Liquor that day, along with their friend Michael Geiger.

Pappas, a former Ottawa Hills High School student who was 17 years old at the time, confessed to buying the vodka from Foxx's with $50 the boys pooled together.

Pappas says he did not use his fake ID, which he has used there in the past. 

Pappas said the clerk did not ask him for any identification.

Prosecutors then played the audio recording from an investigator's interview with Thompson in April.  In that recording, Thompson said he did not remember details of the February day, but he did recognize a picture of Pappas.

"He's been here quite a few times," said Thompson of Pappas. 

Agent Michael Hakeos with the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Department of Public Service asks, "Do you think you could've been the one who sold to the kids that day?" Thompson answers, "It's possible."

Defense attorneys questioned Pappas about what they believe to be inconsistencies in his descriptions of the clerk.  They also criticized state investigators for failing to obtain surveillance video since the system at Foxx's records over itself every ten days.

"If you'd been there between the first and the ninth we'd know what happened for sure, but you didn't get here for 2 and a half months," says Rick Kerger, Thompson's defense attorney.

If convicted, Thompson faces up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The trial resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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