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State v. Hatton

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District

September 26, 2006

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
MARTIN L. HATTON, Defendant-Appellant.

Jenny Carroll, Mark Godsey, and John Cranley (The Ohio Innocence Project, College of Law, University of Cincinnati), Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor, and Michael D. Hess, Assistant Pickaway County Prosecutor, Circleville, Ohio, for Appellee.


Roger L. Kline, Judge

{¶ 1} Martin L. Hatton appeals the trial court's judgment denying his application for DNA testing pursuant to R.C. 2953.71 to 2953.81. He contends that the trial court erred by determining that exclusion DNA results would not be "outcome determinative." Because DNA evidence was not the crux of the state's case and because substantial circumstantial evidence supports Hatton's conviction, including his co-defendant's statements implicating him, exclusion DNA results would not be "outcome determinative." Thus, the trial court did not err by denying Hatton's application.

{¶ 2} Hatton additionally asserts that the trial court's decision denying him access to the biological specimens violates Brady v. Maryland (1963), 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215. Hatton had access to the specimens during the jury trial proceedings. Additionally, we previously determined, both in Hatton's direct appeal and in his appeal of the denial of his postconviction petition, that the state did not fail to disclose exculpatory evidence. Thus, Hatton's argument is without merit. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.


{¶ 3} On January 18, 1997, at approximately 1:17 a.m., the seventeen year old victim awoke to the sound of footsteps in her bedroom.[1] Shortly thereafter, she felt a gloved hand covering her mouth and saw a strange man's face inches away from her. The man held a knife to her neck and told her that she "better really love [her] parents, that if [she] screamed or made any noise he was going to kill" her family. The man raped her in her bedroom and then took her downstairs to the family room. Once downstairs in the family room, a second man raped her. While the second man was raping her, the first man left the room. When the first man came back, he told the second man that they had to leave. The second man stated that he was not ready to leave because he was "not done" with her.

{¶ 4} The victim and the two men heard footsteps upstairs. Her father, Paul, hearing footsteps in the house, had woken up to investigate. As he proceeded down the stairs, he heard someone say, "Let's get the hell out of here. Someone's coming." Paul saw the first man fleeing the residence. The second man ran into Paul. The two men struggled. During the struggle, the second man was yelling, "Marty, Marty, Marty!" He told Paul, "My buddy's got a gun, he will come in and kill you all." Paul asked the second man who Marty is, and the man replied, "I don't know why I am here. I came with Marty Hatton."

{¶ 5} As Paul was struggling with the second man, she ran upstairs to her parents' bedroom to find her mother. She told her mother what happened and telephoned 911.

{¶ 6} Circleville Police Sergeant Wayne Gray and Circleville Police Officer David Haynes were the first officers on the scene. As Sergeant Gray entered the front door, he saw Paul standing over the second man, who was laying on the floor and was yelling, "Where's Marty?" The second man said several times that he had been at the residence with "Marty." Sergeant Gray told the man that he did not know who "Marty" was. The second man stated it was "Marty Hatton." The officers learned that the second man was Ricky Dunn. The officers arrested Dunn and, when additional officers arrived on the scene, began searching for Hatton. The officers did not, however, find Hatton.

{¶ 7} Following his arrest and at trial, Dunn explained the events surrounding the burglary and rape as follows. Dunn testified that he was with Hatton on the night of January 17, 1997, and they went to the Match Box Tavern. After leaving the bar, Dunn and Hatton went to Chatham Drive. Hatton told Dunn they were going to Chatham Drive to talk to one of his friends. When they got to Chatham Drive, Hatton told Dunn that he was going to rob a house. Dunn stated that he thought Hatton was kidding. Hatton told Dunn that "he would leave [Dunn] laying on the ground if [Dunn] didn't do it." Hatton and Dunn went to one house, but could not open the door. They then went to the next house and walked around the side entrance to the garage. Hatton opened the door with a credit card. Hatton and Dunn entered the garage and Hatton began looking through the cars. Hatton found a set of keys in one of the cars.

{¶ 8} Hatton then entered the house while Dunn remained in the garage. Some time later, Hatton returned to the garage and told Dunn to come inside. When Dunn entered the house, he saw the victim standing against the wall. Dunn said Marty was laughing, stating, "Look at this, * * * seventeen years old." Dunn told Hatton, "Oh, no, don't do this. Let's get out of here." Dunn stated Hatton would not listen to him.

{¶ 9} Hatton told Dunn that he had sex with her and that Dunn was also going to have sex with her. Dunn told Hatton, "no way, I am not going to do that." Dunn again told Hatton that they should leave. Hatton grabbed her, held the knife to her neck and said if Dunn did not have sex with her, Hatton would kill her.

{¶ 10} Hatton led her into the family room and told her to lay down on the couch. He told Dunn to get on top of her. Hatton held the knife to her neck and told her not to make any noise. Hatton shone a flashlight on her and Dunn to make sure that Dunn was having sex with her. Dunn stated that he was not able to have sex with her because he was scared. Approximately five minutes later, Dunn heard someone coming downstairs. Hatton said, "Let's get the hell out of here, somebody is coming." Dunn replied, "I am not ready yet." Dunn stated he did not want to leave with Hatton because he was afraid Hatton would kill him and her. Dunn later informed the officers that Hatton had been wearing a dark colored sweatshirt on the night in question.

{¶ 11} The next day Circleville Police Officer Kevin Clark and Pickaway County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Mike Wears went to Hatton's house to question him about his whereabouts during the preceding night and about Dunn's allegations. The officers informed him that Dunn had stated that he had been involved in a burglary and a rape at the Chatham Drive residence during the overnight hours. Hatton told the officers that he had no idea what the officers were talking about. Hatton stated that he had not seen Dunn the previous evening. Hatton stated that on the previous evening, he returned home shortly before midnight, watched a movie with his wife, and went to bed.

{¶ 12} Hatton informed the officers that he was willing to help out in any way that he could and that he was not involved in the crimes. The officers asked him for the clothes he had been wearing the previous evening, and he gave them a pair of jeans, a sweater, a shirt, and a pair of underwear. Hatton did not turn over the dark colored sweatshirt that Dunn claimed he wore. The officers also asked Hatton to accompany them to the police station for a line-up.

{¶ 13} At the police station, Hatton voluntarily participated in a line-up. The victim could not, however, identify the perpetrator. Officer Clark then took Hatton into an interview room. Officer Clark wanted to ask Hatton some questions about Dunn's allegations, but Hatton stated that he wanted to speak with an attorney. Officer Clark stated that the officers had discovered that Hatton was in Laurelville with Dunn on the night in question. Hatton stated that he was in Laurelville. Hatton stated that he wanted to help clear his name and that he did not do anything wrong.

{¶ 14} Hatton asked Officer Clark what he could do to clear his name. Officer Clark stated that the police would need blood and pubic hair samples, and that they would need to search his house. He agreed to provide the samples and to let the police search his house.

{¶ 15} During the search of Hatton's home, the officers took a dark colored sweatshirt from the closet located in the master bedroom. The sweatshirt had a dried white substance on it which the officers suspected to be semen. Hatton's wife confirmed that Hatton ...

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