Friday First District Roundup 2-4-21

State of Ohio v. Ronnie Allen  
Case #C200149

Quote from Judgment Entry:
In January 2020, defendant-appellant Ronnie Allen entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted assault on a police officer. The trial court ordered a presentence investigation and subsequently imposed a maximum sentence of 12 months’ incarceration, citing Mr. Allen’s prior misdemeanor convictions, his unsuccessful history of community control, and his apparent lack of remorse for his actions. Mr. Allen’s appointed counsel has advised this court that, after a thorough review of the record, he can find nothing that would arguably support appellant’s appeal, and that the appeal is wholly frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967); see also Freels v. Hills, 843 F.2d 958 (6th Cir.1988). Counsel, as required by Anders, has communicated this conclusion to appellant, and has offered appellant an opportunity to respond and to raise any issues. Counsel has also moved this court for permission to withdraw as counsel. See Anders at 744; see also 1st Dist. Loc.R. 16.2(C)(1) and 16.2(D)(2).


State of Ohio v. Jonathon Patton 
Case #C190694 

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:
Jonathon Patton appeals his convictions, after a jury trial, for two counts of murder with gun specifications, one for the murder of Steven Anderson and one for the murder of Nathaniel Davis. Raising four assignments of error, Patton contends that the convictions were based on insufficient evidence, the convictions were against the manifest weight of the evidence, the state engaged in prosecutorial misconduct, and he was deprived of his right to effective assistance of trial counsel. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
Jonathon Patton was indicted on two counts of murder with specifications for the murder of Steven Anderson, two counts of murder with specifications for the murder of Nathaniel Davis, and three counts of felonious assault, with specifications, of Robert Hicks, Ieasha Brooks, and Desarae Wells. After a jury trial, he was convicted of the murder charges and acquitted of the felonious-assault charges. He was sentenced to an aggregate prison term of 24 years to life.


State of Ohio v. Ricshawn Hill 
Case #C190641

Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
Defendant-appellant Ricshawn Hill appeals his convictions, following a bench trial, for four counts of cruelty against companion animals. In four assignments of error, Hill challenges the sufficiency and the weight of the evidence supporting his convictions, contests the propriety of an in-court identification, and argues that the trial court erred in admitting both hearsay and improper other-acts evidence.
Following our review of the record, we find that the trial court erroneously admitted a deputy dog warden’s testimony concerning statements made to him from persons at the scene about who owned the dogs, because that testimony was inadmissible hearsay. But because Hill admitted both to ownership of the four animals that were the subject of his convictions and to his inability to care for them, we find that the trial court’s admission of the hearsay statements was harmless error.
We further find that the trial court’s admission of video evidence concerning the conditions of two animals that were not the subject of the charges was erroneous because the evidence was irrelevant and was improper other-acts evidence under Evid.R. 404(B). But because the record contained ample evidence regarding the conditions of the four dogs that were the subject of Hill’s convictions, specifically that those animals had been tortured, tormented, or had an act of cruelty committed against them, and because Hill admitted to ownership of the dogs and to his inability to care for them, we find that the admission of the improper other-acts evidence was harmless error and we affirm the trial court’s judgments. 


State of Ohio v. Andrew Albright 
Case #C190523 

Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:
Faced with a badly injured driver suspected of imbibing and nascent Supreme Court precedent, the trial court denied defendant Andrew Albright’s motion to suppress the results of his blood draw. In doing so, the trial court invoked the authority of Mitchell v. Wisconsin, a plurality opinion involving applicability of the “exigent circumstances” doctrine to drivers under the influence of alcohol. 588 U.S. __, 139 S.Ct. 2525, 204 L.Ed.2d 1040 (2019).
But there was no need for the trial court to wade into choppy constitutional waters. Mr. Albright’s motion to suppress could and should have been resolved on statutory grounds. Because he raises no challenge to the applicability of Ohio’s implied consent statute on appeal, we overrule Mr. Albright’s sole assignment of error and affirm his conviction. 


State of Ohio v. Justin Anderson 
Case #C190588 

Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
Defendant-appellant Justin Anderson appeals his conviction for trafficking in cocaine, arguing in a single assignment of error that the sentence imposed was contrary to law. Finding his assignment of error to be without merit, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
Anderson pled guilty on March 23, 2015, to trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A). After accepting Anderson’s plea, the trial court stayed sentencing for 60 days at Anderson’s request and released him pending sentencing. The court indicated that it intended to impose a sentence of three years in prison, but informed Anderson that:
"I’ll give you 60 days [until sentencing], but here’s the deal. I don’t think it’s a problem because you have not gotten in any trouble since you have been out. You have been acting appropriate, very polite to me and the staff, but if you don’t show up or embarrass me and my picture appears in the paper, you know: Guy is out on bond with a 60- day stay and commits some major crime, then you’re going to get eight years on this consecutively to the new case, okay? "
Anderson failed to appear for sentencing and a capias was issued.


State of Ohio v. Cameron Smith 
Case #C190419 

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:
Cameron Smith appeals his conviction for telecommunication harassment following a bench trial. We find that the conviction was not supported by legally sufficient evidence, and we reverse the judgment of the trial court and discharge Smith.
On April 21, 2019, Cameron Smith was charged with telecommunications harassment in violation of R.C. 2917.21(B). The complaint charged Smith with violating R.C. 2917.21(B), but does not clarify whether it is based on subsection 1 or 2. However the language in the complaint tracks the language of R.C. 2917.21(B)(1). The complaint alleged that: “Smith did ‘make or cause to be made a telecommunication, or permit a telecommunication to be made from a telecommunications device under the person’s control, with purpose to abuse, threaten, or harass another person.’ ”


State of Ohio v. Jonathan Veite 
Case #C190339 

Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:
Following Jonathan Veite’s guilty pleas to voyeurism and public indecency, the Hamilton County Municipal Court imposed jail sentences on each charge but did not include a sex-offender classification in its sentencing entries or inform him of his duties to register. Two days later, the court denied the state’s motion to classify Veite a Tier I sex offender as to each of the charges. We granted the state’s motion for leave to appeal Veite’s sentence for voyeurism, and Veite filed a cross-appeal. The State’s Appeal.
In a single assignment of error, the state argues that the trial court erred when it failed to impose Tier I sex-offender classification and registration requirements where Veite pleaded guilty to voyeurism, an offense that automatically rendered him a Tier I sex offender.