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State v. Binkley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 26, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BRUCE ALLEN BINKLEY Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2012CR1343(A)

JOHN D. FERRERO, By: RONALD MARK CALDWELL For Plaintiff-Appellee

EUGENE O'BYRNE For Defendant-Appellant

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

OPINION

Farmer, P.J.

(¶1} On October 2, 2012, the Stark County Grand Jury indicted appellant, Bruce Allen Binkley, on one count of illegal manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.04 and one count of illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.041. Said charges arose after police officers discovered certain items in appellant's vehicle which was parked at the residence of David and Susan Ashworth. Mr. Ashworth was in the process of making repairs to the vehicle. After Mr. Ashworth opened the trunk, police officers discovered items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

(¶2} On October 31, 2012, appellant filed a motion to suppress, claiming an illegal search and seizure. A hearing was held on November 7, 2012. By judgment entry filed November 8, 2012, the trial court denied the motion. Appellant filed a motion to reconsider on December 10, 2012. A hearing was held on January 2, 2013. The trial court did not change its previous ruling.

(¶3} On January 9, 2013, appellant pled no contest to the charges. By judgment entry filed January 16, 2013, the trial court found appellant guilty and sentenced him to an aggregate term of four years in prison.

(¶4} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. Assignment of error is as follows:

I

(¶5} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DENIED APPELLANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE IN VIOLATION OF HIS RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE AS GUARANTEED BY THE FOURTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, SECTION 14 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

I

(¶6} Appellant claims the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. We disagree.

(¶7} There are three methods of challenging on appeal a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress. First, an appellant may challenge the trial court's findings of fact. In reviewing a challenge of this nature, an appellate court must determine whether said findings of fact are against the manifest weight of the evidence. State v. Fanning, 1 Ohio St.3d 19 (1982); State v. Klein, 73 Ohio App.3d 486 (4th Dist.1991); State v. Guysinger, 86 Ohio App.3d 592 (4th Dist.1993). Second, an appellant may argue the trial court failed to apply the appropriate test or correct law to the findings of fact. In that case, an appellate court can reverse the trial court for committing an error of law. State v. Williams, 86 Ohio App.3d 37 (4th Dist.1993). Finally, assuming the trial court's findings of fact are not against the manifest weight of the evidence and it has properly identified the law to be applied, an appellant may argue the trial court has incorrectly decided the ultimate or final issue raised in the motion to suppress. When reviewing this type of claim, an appellate court must independently determine, without deference to the trial court's conclusion, whether the facts meet the appropriate legal standard in any given case. State v. Curry, 95 Ohio ...


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