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State of Ohio v. Samuel Carroll

October 13, 2011

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
SAMUEL CARROLL DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-534451

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mary J. Boyle, P.J.:

Cite as State v. Carroll,

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

JUDGMENT:

AFFIRMED

BEFORE: Boyle, P.J., Rocco, J., and Keough, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Samuel Carroll, appeals the trial court's judgment denying his motion to suppress. He raises one assignment of error for our review: "The trial court erred when it denied [his] motion to suppress evidence." Finding no merit to his appeal, we affirm.

Procedural History and Factual Background

{¶2} Carroll was indicted on three counts: drug trafficking, in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2); drug possession, in violation of R.C. 2925.22(A); and possessing criminal tools, in violation of R.C. 2923.24(A). All three counts carried the same three forfeiture specifications (cell phone, scale, and money). Carroll moved to suppress the evidence against him. The following testimony was presented at the suppression hearing.

{¶3} Two uniformed police officers arrested Darnell Patterson in the parking lot of the Togo Lounge. The specifics of Patterson's arrest are not before us. But a search of the vehicle that Patterson was in revealed 35 grams of cocaine in the center console. Patterson emphatically denied that the drugs were his, claiming they belonged to "Bobo."

Patterson told police that "Bobo" was inside the Togo Lounge, and that he was a black male who was wearing blue jeans, a dark jacket, and a dark hat.

{¶4} The uniformed officers called their immediate supervisor, Sergeant Matt Putnam, for assistance. Sergeant Putnam called for more assistance. Lieutenant Jerome Barrow, Detective Samuel Cornell, and a couple of other officers, answered the call for help. Sergeant Putnam, Lieutenant Barrow, and Detective Cornell testified at the suppression hearing.

{¶5} The officers went inside the Togo Lounge. Although they were in plain clothes, they were clearly identified as police officers by their badges. There were two female bartenders working and four customers sitting at the bar. The officers testified that a man and a woman were sitting at the bar near the door; two other men were sitting at the other end of the bar, one of whom matched the description of "Bobo." The officers approached the man, who was later identified as Carroll, and began talking to him.

{ΒΆ6} While Lieutenant Barrow was talking to "Bobo," Detective Cornell said that he saw Carroll move his hands toward his left pocket area. Detective Cornell immediately told Carroll to put his hands on the bar and leave them there. Carroll complied with the order at first, but about a minute later, Detective Cornell saw Carroll reach for his left side again. Detective Cornell testified that he thought that Carroll might have a weapon in his pocket or was possibly trying to dispose of contraband, so he told Carroll to put his hands on the bar a second time. Carroll briefly complied again, but then started to put ...


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