CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY AREA III COURT Case No. TRD 1202861
Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, Kimberly L. McManus, for plaintiff-appellee
Worrell A. Reid, for defendant-appellant
(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Lloyd A. Wilson, appeals his sentence and conviction in the Butler County Area III Court for failure to yield right of way when turning left.
(¶ 2} This appeal arises out of an automobile accident which occurred on May 24, 2012, at the intersection of Tylersville Road and State Route (S.R.) 747, in West Chester, Ohio. Wilson was traveling westbound on Tylersville Road and attempted to make a left turn onto southbound S.R. 747. As Wilson entered the intersection, his vehicle collided with the vehicle of Gretchen Ramirez. Wilson was charged with failure to yield right of way when turning left, in violation of R.C. 4511.42.
(¶ 3} After being continued on two occasions, a bench trial occurred on November 9, 2012. At trial, the prosecutor first called Ramirez to the stand. Ramirez testified that she was traveling eastbound on Tylersville Road, and as she entered the intersection, she had a green light. Ramirez further testified: "I just saw this this car coming out of no where [sic] and I just slammed the breaks [sic] as quick as I could, " but the two vehicles made contact.
(¶ 4} Next, the state called Dan Meyer to the stand. As Meyer began to testify, Wilson objected because he was not provided a witness list notifying him that this witness would be called to testify. The trial court inquired whether a witness list had been provided. The state explained that discovery is provided over the internet and if the defendant requests a witness list then "it's automatically generated. I'm not aware of his requesting it or not." The trial court noted that Crim.R. 16(I) is mandatory and requires the exchange of witness lists even if such list is not requested. Wilson's trial counsel then requested a continuance so that the state could remedy the rule violation. The state objected to the continuance. Wilson also offered to consent to Meyer's testimony if his proposed expert witness's affidavit would be admitted into evidence. After some discussion, the trial court stated the following: "Well what I'll do if you want [a] chance to talk to the witness, if the witness will talk to you I'll continue it in progress but it's not going to be continued beyond today." Wilson's counsel objected to this ruling and decided that he was not going to "avail [himself] the opportunity to speak to this witness" before the trial continued. Rather, he noted his objection for the record and chose to proceed on cross. The state then provided Wilson a handwritten witness list and continued with its direct examination of Meyer.
(¶ 5} Meyer testified that he was behind Wilson at the time of the accident, and he observed Wilson pull out in front of the victim and did not yield to her right of way. Meyer testified that Wilson only had a green light and not a green turn arrow when he entered the intersection.
(¶ 6} The state then called Officer Nick Gattermeyer of the West Chester Police Department to the stand. Officer Gattermeyer testified that he responded to the scene and observed the two vehicles in the middle of the intersection. Gattermeyer further explained that the damage to the vehicles was severe and "consistent with a car possibly turning in front of another and another one coming straight." Gattermeyer also testified that he specifically asked Wilson if he had a "green light or a green arrow and I asked him this question twice and he told me green light both times." After this testimony, the state rested.
(¶ 7} Wilson took the stand in his own defense. He testified that he was traveling west on Tylersville Road and he turned left when there was a "green light and green arrow." Contrary to prior testimony, Wilson stated that Ramirez was traveling southbound on S.R. 747 just prior to the accident. He stated that it was Ramirez that hit him and the point of impact was his front right wheel. Wilson also denied speaking to the police officers at the scene of the accident except to provide them with his name.
(¶ 8} Finally, Wilson called his daughter-in-law, Maureen Wizzard, to testify on his behalf. Prior to Wizzard taking the stand, Wilson's counsel who seem ingly also failed to file a witness list, provided the prosecutor with a handwritten witness list. Wizzard then testified that upon arriving to the scene, she observed both cars were facing south on S.R. 747.
(¶ 9} After hearing all the evidence, the trial court found Wilson guilty and imposed a $40 fine plus court costs. Wilson now appeals his conviction and ...