Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 10, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Appellant
v.
DEWEY JONES, III, Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 1994 06 1409 C

MIKE DeWINE, Ohio Attorney General, and MICAH R. AULT, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellant.

CARRIE WOOD, Attorney at Law, and MARK GODSEY, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

CARLA MOORE, Presiding Judge.

{¶1} The State of Ohio appeals the order of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas that granted Dewey Amos Jones' motion for a new trial. This Court affirms.

I.

{¶2} On February 13, 1993, someone entered the home of seventy-one-year-old Neal Rankin and, during the course of a robbery, shot him twice in the head at close range. Police found no signs of forced entry, so the investigation focused on Mr. Rankin's circle of younger acquaintances who often received money from him. Mr. Jones and his wife were known to frequent Mr. Rankin's home, and suspicion soon turned in their direction. Along with a third person, Gary Rusu, the Joneses were indicted on charges of aggravated murder. Soon, the charges against Mrs. Jones and Mr. Rusu were dismissed, leaving Mr. Jones as the only defendant.

{¶3} At trial, one of Mr. Rankin's neighbors testified that he had seen someone leaving Mr. Rankin's house on the evening of the murder and that he had identified Mr. Jones from a photographic array some months after the crime. The same witness, however, also identified two other people from photo arrays at different times. A jailhouse informant testified that Mr. Jones confessed the crime to him, but no physical evidence linked Mr. Jones to the murder. In 1995, a jury found him guilty of aggravated murder, and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison. Mr. Jones appealed, and this Court affirmed his conviction. State v. Jones, 9th Dist. Summit No. 17213, 1996 WL 37725 (Jan. 31, 2006).

{¶4} In 2008, Mr. Jones moved the trial court for DNA testing under R.C. 2953.73. On April 29, 2010, the trial court granted the motion, concluding that although DNA testing was not possible when he was tried given the quality of the samples, advances in technology by 2010 permitted DNA profiles to be obtained from "very small, degraded, or compromised samples." The trial court observed that "depending on whether the results of the DNA evidence yield the existence of a different perpetrator at the scene, in particular one of the individuals initially picked out of photo arrays by witnesses, there is a strong probability that a reasonable factfinder could find that [Mr. Jones] was not the killer of Neal Rankin." Once the DNA test results were obtained excluding him as a contributor, Mr. Jones moved for a new trial. The trial court granted his motion on July 9, 2012, noting that the test results "call[ed] into question the State's entire theory of the case" and "undermine[d] the testimony of the State's witness, Willie Caton" because "[t]he DNA does not support, and in some instances, works directly against, the testimony of Mr. Caton."

{¶5} The State moved for leave to appeal the decision. This Court allowed the appeal, and the State has presented one assignment of error.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY GRANTING DEWEY JONES, III A NEW TRIAL PURSUANT TO CRIM.R. 33(A)(6).

{¶6} The State's assignment of error argues that the trial court erred by granting Mr. Jones' motion for a new trial because, according to the State, there is not a strong probability that the new evidence ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.