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State v. McCants

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District

June 26, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
NEECO MCCANTS, Defendant-Appellant.

Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas TRIAL NO. B-1103329

Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Melynda J. Machol, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee,

The Farrish Law Firm and Michaela M. Stagnaro, for Defendant-Appellant. Please note: this case has been removed from the accelerated calendar.

OPINION

Hildebrandt, Presiding Judge.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant Neeco McCants appeals the judgment of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas revoking his community control and imposing a sentence of imprisonment.

McCants's Conduct While on Community Control

{¶2} In 2011, McCants entered a guilty plea to a single count of attempting to possess a concealed weapon, and the trial court placed him on community control. At the sentencing hearing, the court informed McCants that it would impose a 12-month prison sentence if he were to violate the terms of community control.

{¶3} In 2012, McCants was indicted for carrying a concealed weapon. The grand jury ignored the companion misdemeanors of obstructing official business, criminal trespass, and possession of marijuana.

{¶4} As a result of the indictment for possessing a concealed weapon, a community-control violation was filed against McCants. The weapon charge proceeded to a jury trial, at which McCants was acquitted. In light of the acquittal, the community-control officer filed an amended violation, alleging that McCants had failed to conduct himself properly while on community control. The basis for the amended violation was McCants's alleged commission of the misdemeanors that had accompanied the charge for which he had been acquitted.

{¶5} The trial court conducted a hearing on the alleged violation. At the hearing, Cincinnati Police Officer Robert Wilson testified that he had seen McCants involved in what appeared to be a drug transaction on property owned by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority ("CMHA"). Wilson stated that McCants had fled when he saw the police cruiser and had refused to stop when ordered. According to Wilson, a gun fell out of McCants's waistband as he was scaling a fence. Wilson further testified that McCants had been warned to remain off of CMHA premises.

{¶6} Wilson's partner, Officer Brendan Rock, also testified that he had seen McCants involved in an apparent drug transaction. Rock stated that Wilson had chased McCants and that McCants had discarded a bag of what appeared to be marijuana before surrendering. Over McCants's objection, the trial court accepted a laboratory report indicating that the substance was marijuana.

{¶7} The trial court held that, even without the evidence of the concealed weapon for which McCants had been acquitted, the state had established a violation of community control. The court revoked community control and sentenced McCants to 12 months' imprisonment.

Evidence of the Violation

{¶8} In his first assignment of error, McCants argues that the trial court erred in revoking community control. He first contends that his acquittal for carrying a concealed weapon removed any factual basis ...


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