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State v. Pierce

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 19, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
BURTON JAMES PIERCE Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Stark County Court Case No. 2013CA00020 of Common Pleas, Case No. 2012-CR-0837

For Plaintiff-Appellee: JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney, RONALD MARK CALDWELL Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

For Defendant-Appellant: BERNARD L. HUNT

Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

(¶1} Defendant-appellant Burton J. Pierce appeals his conviction and sentence from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas on eight (8) counts of receiving stolen property. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

(¶2} On July 23, 2013, the Stark County Grand Jury indicted appellant on nine (9) counts of receiving stolen property in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), felonies of the fourth degree, and one (1) count of arson in violation of R.C. 2909.03(A)(2), also a felony of the fourth degree. At his arraignment on August 17, 2012, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Pursuant to a Judgment Entry filed on September 28, 2012, the trial court granted appellant's request to sever the arson charge from the receiving stolen property charges for purposes of trial.

(¶3} A jury trial on the charges of receiving stolen property commenced on December 11, 2012. Prior to the commencement of trial, defense counsel stipulated to the fact that the nine vehicles were stolen and to the dates that they were stolen.

(¶4} George Rafailedes testified that in February of 2012, he was the owner of a 1989 Chevy Caprice. He testified that he reported the vehicle stolen on or about February 12, 2012 and that the vehicle was running fine. Rafailedes testified that he made a police report and that the Canton Police Department later called him and told him that they had the vehicle in the impound lot. The steering column was broken. Rafailedes testified that he did not know appellant and never gave him permission to have his vehicle.

(¶5} Robert Selig testified that at one time he owned a 1988 G20 Chevy van that was operable. He reported the van stolen on or about February 17, 2012. Selig contacted the police department and filed a report. He testified that the police contacted him the same day and told him that they had found the van at a chop shop on Harrisburg Road. The steering column was damaged. According to Selig, he did not know appellant and never gave him permission to have the van.

(¶6} The next witness to testify was Tammy Cline. She testified that, in February of 2012, she was in possession of a 1986 Pontiac that was owned by her father. Cline testified that she reported the vehicle, which was in mint condition, stolen on February 13, 2012 and that the police later contacted her and told her that the vehicle was in the Canton impound lot. The steering column was damaged. Cline testified that she did not know appellant and did not give him permission to have her vehicle.

(¶7} Connie Rose next testified that she reported her 1989 G20 van, which was operable, stolen on February 15, 2012. The police contacted her on or about February 20, 2012 and told her that they had located her vehicle at a chop shop on Harrisburg Road. When she later saw her vehicle in the impound lot, the steering column was broken and the outside was damaged. Rose testified that she did not know appellant and did not give him permission to have her vehicle.

(ΒΆ8} Ethan Frey testified that in February of 2012, he was the owner of a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass that ran perfectly. He reported the vehicle stolen on February 17, 2012. Frey was later contacted by the Canton police and told that his vehicle had been recovered. The windows were broken out and the steering column was damaged. He ...


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