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State v. Bazrawi

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

July 11, 2013

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Louie H. Bazrawi, Defendant-Appellee.

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No. 12CR-1060)

Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Steven L. Taylor, for appellant.

Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP, Kort Gatterdam and Erik P. Henry, for appellee.

DECISION

McCORMAC, J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, State of Ohio, appeals from the December 11, 2012 judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the motion to suppress evidence filed by defendant-appellee, Louie H. Bazrawi.

I. Procedural History

{¶ 2} On February 28, 2012, the state charged Bazrawi with one count of carrying a concealed weapon in violation of R.C. 2923.12 and one count of improperly handling firearms in a moving vehicle in violation of R.C. 2923.16. The charges stem from a December 16, 2011 incident whereby Columbus police recovered a handgun from Bazrawi's Chevy Malibu.

{¶ 3} On June 1, 2012, Bazrawi filed a motion to suppress, challenging the warrantless search of his vehicle which resulted in the gun's discovery. The state filed a memorandum contra on June 18, 2012, asserting the search was justified under both the automobile exception and the plain-view exception to the warrant requirement. The state also claimed the good-faith exception to the federal exclusionary rule would apply and no exclusionary rule existed under the Ohio constitutional provision.

{¶ 4} The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion to suppress on August 27, 2012. The trial court articulated its essential findings and conclusions at a November 13, 2012 hearing pursuant to the state's October 12, 2012 motion for essential findings, and issued an entry granting defendant's motion to suppress evidence on December 11, 2012, concluding the police lacked any justification to search Bazrawi's car in the absence of a warrant.

II. Assignments of Error

{¶ 5} The state timely appeals, setting forth three assignments of error for review:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS BASED ON ITS CONCLUSION THAT THE AUTOMOBILE EXCEPTION DID NOT APPLY BECAUSE THE OCCUPANTS HAD EXITED THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE AUTOMOBILE WAS LOCKED.
SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS BASED ON ITS CONCLUSION THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE EXISTING TO SEARCH FOR MARIJUANA-RELATED EVIDENCE COULD NOT ...

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