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State v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

September 11, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
GARY A. TAYLOR Appellant

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 12 03 0888

DAVID G. LOMBARDI, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and RICHARD S. KASAY, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

CARLA MOORE, Presiding Judge, for the court

(¶1} Defendant, Gary A. Taylor, appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. We reverse and remand this cause for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

(¶2} On February 24, 2012, Officer Edward Hornacek of the City of Akron Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a car that Christine Hersman was driving and in which Mr. Taylor was a passenger. The stop ultimately led to the officer's search of Ms. Hersman's car and the discovery of items believed to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. As a result, the Summit County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Taylor on one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of RC. 2925.041(A).

(¶3} Mr. Taylor moved to suppress the evidence, the discovery of which he argued, in part, resulted from an illegal stop of Ms. Hersman's car. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied his motion. Thereafter, Mr. Taylor amended his plea to no contest, and the trial court found him guilty on the sole charge. In a journal entry dated October 11, 2012, the trial court imposed sentence.

(¶4} Mr. Taylor timely filed a notice of appeal from the sentencing entry, and he now presents one assignment of error for our review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW IN DENYING [MR. TAYLOR]'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS.[]

(¶5}In his sole assignment of error, Mr. Taylor argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. We agree.

Appellate review of a motion to suppress presents a mixed question of law and fact. When considering a motion to suppress, the trial court assumes the role of trier of fact and is therefore in the best position to resolve factual questions and evaluate the credibility of witnesses. Consequently, an appellate court must accept the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported by competent, credible evidence. Accepting these facts as true, the appellate court must then independently ...

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