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State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

September 27, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
EMANUEL JONES Defendant-Appellant

Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 12-CR-14

DAVID A. WILSON, Atty. Reg. #0073767, by LISA M. FANNIN, Atty. Reg. #0082337, Clark County Prosecutor's Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

SHERYL A. TRZASKA, Atty. Reg. #0079915, Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

OPINION

FAIN, P.J.

(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Emanuel Jones appeals from his conviction and sentence for Aggravated Robbery, with a firearm specification. Jones contends that the juvenile court abused its discretion by transferring his case to the general division of the court of common pleas for criminal prosecution.

(¶ 2} We conclude that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by transferring Jones's case to the general division of the court of common pleas. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is Affirmed.

I. Jones and Three Other Males Rob a "Drive Thru" and an Individual

(¶ 3} In October 2011, Emanuel Jones and three other males arrived at John's Drive Thru. At that time, Jones was sixteen years of age. One of the three males with Jones held a gun to the head of the female employee and demanded that she give him the money in the cash register. The group of males also turned to a friend of the female employee at the Drive Thru and demanded his wallet. The man whose wallet was taken later identified Jones as one of the four robbers. Evidence retrieved by the police, including the surveillance video from the robbery, supported the eyewitness identification of Jones as one of the robbers.

II. Course of the Proceedings

(¶ 4} Jones was charged, as a juvenile, with two counts of Aggravated Robbery, both with a firearm specification. The victim of one robbery was the store itself; the victim of the other was a friend of the sole employee working at the store at the time. The State sought to have the case transferred to the general division of the common pleas court, to have Jones tried as an adult.

(¶ 5} Jones had a prior record of juvenile delinquency, including Aggravated Menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor; Criminal Mischief, a third-degree misdemeanor; Chronic Truancy, a minor misdemeanor; and numerous probation violations. He was on probation when he allegedly committed the Aggravated Robberies in this case.

(¶ 6} The juvenile court held a probable cause hearing, and found that there was probable cause to believe that Jones committed the offenses charged. Next, the court held an amenability hearing, and found that Jones was not amenable to care or rehabilitation within the juvenile system, and that the safety of the community may require that Jones be subject to adult sanctions. The juvenile court transferred the case to the general division.

(¶ 7} In the general division of the common pleas court, Jones moved to suppress evidence, including his identification at a show-up conducted shortly after the robberies. While the motion to suppress was pending, Jones pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Robbery, including the firearm specification, and the other count, with its specification, was dismissed. Jones was sentenced to five years for the Aggravated Robbery and to three years for the firearm specification, to be served consecutively.

(¶ 8} From the judgment of the trial court, Jones appeals.

III. The Juvenile Court Did Not Abuse its Discretion by Transferring the Case to the General Division

(¶ 9} Jones's sole assignment of error states:

THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT TRANSFERRED THIS CASE FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. RC. 2152.12; FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, AND ARTICLE 1, SECTION 10 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION.

(¶ 10} "We review a juvenile court's relinquishment of jurisdiction in discretionary bindover proceedings under an abuse of discretion standard." State v. Flagg, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga Nos. 93248 and 93279, 2010-Ohio-4247, ¶ 26, citing In re AJ.S., 120 Ohio St.3d 185, 2008-Ohio-5307, 897 N.E.2d 629. The term "abuse of discretion" has been defined as a decision that is unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable. Huffman v. Hair Surgeon, Inc., 19 Ohio St.3d 83, 87, 482 N.E.2d 1248 (1985).

(ΒΆ 11} Jones was subject to discretionary transfer by the juvenile court, because Jones was "fourteen years of age or older at the time of the act charged, " and he was "charged with an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult." R.C. 2152.10(B). In determining whether to transfer Jones for criminal prosecution, the juvenile court ...


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