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State v. Dover

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 17, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
COURTNEY DOVER, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2007CR0153.

For Plaintiff-Appellee KATHLEEN O. TATARSKY Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Appellate Section.

For Defendant-Appellant STEPHEN A. GOLDMEIER Assistant State Public Defender.

Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

BALDWIN, J.

{¶1} Appellant Courtney Dover appeals a judgment of the Stark County Common Pleas Court overruling his motion to "correct and resentence." Appellee is the State of Ohio.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} On January 12, 2007, Perry Township Police Officer William Watson responded to the scene of a shooting at the Marc's Plaza on Tuscarawas Street in Perry Township, Ohio. As he pulled into the parking lot, he saw a man lying on the ground bleeding from a large wound in the buttocks area. Officer Watson saw no weapon but taped off the area as a crime scene and asked for the names of any witnesses. Officers located the injured man's vehicle, still running, in the parking lot. Sarah Dotson, who was shopping with her daughter, told Officer Watson that she heard what sounded like a cap gun and saw a man stumble and collapse. She approached the injured man and determined that he was bleeding. The man requested that she contact his girlfriend. She then saw a dark car with circular brake lights leave the parking area. Ms. Dotson called 911.

{¶3} The police did not recover a weapon or shell casings from the scene of the incident. Prior to being taken by ambulance to the hospital, the injured man told police that "Corey" had shot him.

{¶4} The ambulance squad arrived and took the injured man to Aultman Hospital. The man was identified as George Curlutu, an unemployed felon. In 2000, he was convicted of possession of cocaine and marijuana and sentenced to three years in prison. In 2004, he was convicted of a second count of possessing cocaine and tampering with evidence. He served a two year prison term.

{¶5} Curlutu and appellant were acquaintances and met at St. Mary's Church in Massillon, Ohio at a Texas Hold-Em tournament. They occasionally played poker and smoked weed at appellant's residence on 4th Street near the Canton Baptist Temple. On the day of the shooting, appellant called Curlutu and asked to meet at the Aldi's parking lot. Sensing a chance to go on a "blunt ride"-where you smoke weed together-. Curlutu skipped his classes at barber school and met appellant at the parking lot. Curlutu knew appellant only as "C" or "Corey."

{¶6} Curlutu testified that on the day in question he smoked marijuana. He further stated that he was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident. Medical records indicated that he also had cocaine and valium in his system. Curlutu denied being under the influence of those substances. However, he admitted that he had used narcotics in the days preceding the incident.

{¶7} Curlutu pulled into the parking lot and waited for appellant, who arrived driving a blue Chevrolet Impala with tinted windows. Curlutu noticed a little girl in a car seat dressed in a pink coat. Curlutu exited his car, leaving the motor running, and got into appellant's car. Appellant asked Curlutu if he could borrow $300 or $400. Curlutu told appellant he did not have money like that. Appellant responded by reaching down to the left hand part of the door and pulling out a longer barrel revolver. Curlutu's first reaction was to grab the revolver with his left hand. A struggle ensued and the revolver landed on the car seat. Curlutu opened the car door to run and was shot in the buttocks.

{ΒΆ8} Curlutu fell down and appellant pulled out of the parking lot. Curlutu was taken to Aultman Hospital. Surgery was performed and eventually a deformed bullet-a .38 special or ...


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