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State of Ohio v. Jackie Taylor

September 30, 2011

STATE OF OHIO APPELLEE
v.
JACKIE TAYLOR APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 10 01 0013 (B)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moore, Judge.

Cite as State v. Taylor,

ss:

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, Jackie Taylor, appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

I.

{¶2} On December 31, 2009, Nikkol Graves learned that J.B. Garrett, a 71-year-old man, had cashed his Social Security and SSI checks. The following morning, while Graves was present in Garrett's apartment, or while she was exiting, an intruder entered Garrett's residence and robbed him of approximately $20.00 to $40.00. On the same morning, Graves returned to Garrett's home, and, while she was there, an intruder again entered Garrett's home and robbed Garrett of his remaining Social Security and SSI proceeds. After this incident, Garrett went to his neighbor's home and called the police.

{¶3} After the second incident, Graves went to the home of Helen Smith on Nome Ave. in the City of Akron, Ohio. While there, Hermaine Powell, whom Graves later identified as the intruder, arrived. Thereafter, Graves called Garrett's neighbor's home, and an officer answered the call. A short time after this telephone conversation, Jackie Taylor, whom Graves later alleged planned the burglaries, arrived at Smith's house. Taylor and Graves left Smith's house in Graves' car and were stopped by police. Police impounded the car and brought Graves in for questioning regarding the burglaries of Garrett. While the car was in custody, the police received a tip from Charles Randles that crack cocaine was in the car. Officers retrieved 4.38 grams of crack cocaine from the back seat.

{¶4} Taylor was indicted on a charge of possession of cocaine and several other charges relating to his alleged complicity in the burglaries of Garrett. Graves and Powell entered into plea agreements relative to their alleged roles in the burglaries, wherein they agreed to testify at Taylor's trial.

{¶5} At the close of the trial, the trial court instructed the jury on complicity, and the jury found Taylor guilty of two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated robbery, one count of theft from the elderly, and one count of possession of cocaine. The aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery charges carried attendant firearm specifications, but the jury found that the offenses were not committed with a firearm. The trial court dismissed the aggravated robbery count and found that the theft from the elderly count merged with the aggravated burglary counts for sentencing purposes. The trial court sentenced Taylor to seven years of incarceration on each count of aggravated burglary and to one year of incarceration on the possession of cocaine count, to run consecutively.

{¶6} Taylor timely filed a notice of appeal and raises two assignments of error.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

"THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT DENIED [ ] TAYLOR'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL UNDER CRIM.R. 29 AS THE STATE OF OHIO DID NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PROVE EACH AND EVERY ELEMENT OF THE CRIMES CHARGED BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT AND THEREFORE THE CONVICTIONS MUST BE REVERSED AND VACATED."

{¶7} In his first assignment of error, Taylor argues that his convictions were not supported by sufficient evidence. Specifically, he contends that the State failed to prove that the commission of the burglaries involved physical harm or a deadly weapon. We do not agree.

{¶8} The issue of whether a conviction is supported by sufficient evidence is a question of law, reviewed de novo. State v. Thompkins (1997), 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386. When considering a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the court must determine whether the prosecution has met its burden of production. Id. at 390 (Cook, J. concurring). In making this determination, an appellate court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution:

"An appellate court's function when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine whether such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of ...


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