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State v. Spraggins

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

June 20, 2013

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DESEAN L. SPRAGGINS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-563036

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Edward M. Heindel.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Edward Fadel Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

BEFORE: Celebrezze, P.J., Blackmon, J., and McCormack, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

FRANK D. CELEBREZZE, JR, PRESIDING JUDGE

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Desean L. Spraggins, appeals from his convictions for kidnapping, robbery, and theft. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

{¶2} On June 1, 2012, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment against appellant, charging him with kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), a felony of the first degree ("Count 1"); robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(2), a felony of the second degree ("Count 2"); robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(3), a felony of the third degree ("Count 3"); and theft in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(1), a misdemeanor of the first degree ("Count 4"). Counts 1 and 2 each contained notice of prior conviction and repeat violent offender specifications.

{¶3} A jury trial on Counts 1 through 4 commenced on August 14, 2012. Appellant waived his right to a jury trial on the repeat violent offender specifications listed in Counts 1 and 2.

{¶4} At trial, the victim, Kirk Hafner, testified that on May 21, 2012, he was sitting at a picnic table in Edgewater Park when he was approached by appellant. According to Hafner, appellant asked if Hafner knew what time it was and then proceeded to sit at the opposite end of the picnic table. Hafner testified that he engaged in a brief conversation with appellant and that appellant discussed the hardships of his life. After approximately ten minutes, Hafner informed appellant that "it was getting late" and that he "was gonna get going." However, as Hafner began walking toward his vehicle, which was approximately ten feet away, appellant cut Hafner off and asked "if [he] could help out with a few dollars."

{¶5} Hafner testified that when he refused to give appellant money, appellant stated, "[you are] not leaving until [I] get some money." At that time, the men began pushing each other, and appellant attempted to grab Hafner by the throat and place him in a headlock. Hafner testified that the situation made him feel "threatened, scared, and angry." After several minutes of struggling with appellant, Hafner asked, "If I give you $20, will you go away?" When appellant said yes, Hafner gave him the money and appellant immediately left the park. Hafner testified that he began to dial 911 as he drove out of the park when he saw a Cleveland police officer parked in his patrol vehicle at a nearby intersection.

{¶6} Officer Byron Brody of the Cleveland Police Department testified that he was on duty on May 21, 2012, in the area of West Boulevard and Lake Avenue when Hafner approached his patrol vehicle and stated that he had just been robbed by a man in Edgewater Park. Officer Brody testified that Hafner was visibly upset. After several sweeps through the park, Officer Brody was unable to locate the man described to him by Hafner. Thereafter, Officer Brody returned to Hafner and obtained a complete report.

{¶7} On May 23, 2012, Hafner returned to Edgewater Park to take a walk. However, before he could exit his vehicle, he saw appellant near the parking lot. Hafner testified that he immediately left the park and stopped a nearby Cleveland police officer. Hafner informed the officer of the police report he made two days earlier and that the perpetrator was currently in the park. Subsequently, Hafner returned to the park with officers and identified appellant as his attacker. Appellant was arrested at that time.

{¶8} During the cross-examination of Hafner, defense counsel attempted to portray Hafner's interaction with appellant as an unreciprocated sexual advancement, and not a robbery as alleged. However, Hafner expressly denied defense counsel's allegations that his interaction with appellant was sexually motivated.

{¶9} At the conclusion of trial, appellant was found guilty of a lesser included offense of Count 1, kidnapping under R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), a felony of the second degree. Further, the jury found him guilty of Count 3, robbery, and Count 4, theft. The jury found appellant not guilty as to Count 2, robbery. The trial court subsequently found appellant guilty of the repeat violent offender and notice of prior conviction specifications contained in ...


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