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State v. Da'Shawn

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Jefferson

February 27, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
NATHAN DA'SHAWN "BOO" HERRING DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Ohio Case No. 99-CR-115

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Jane M. Hanlin Prosecuting Attorney Jefferson County Justice Center

          For Defendant-Appellant: Atty. Bernard C. Battistel

          Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb

          OPINION

          WAITE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Nathan Herring appeals the Jefferson County Common Pleas Court's May 27, 2015 decision to deny his motion in arrest of judgment. Appellant bases his claim on the fact that the Ohio Supreme Court held, in his codefendant's case, that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear this matter as the underlying homicides occurred in Pennsylvania. Appellant argues that his convictions on non-homicide charges were part of the same course of criminal conduct as his original homicide charges. Thus, he claims that in accordance with the Ohio Supreme Court's decision, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear any charges stemming from the homicide. Additionally, Appellant argues that the trial court failed to ensure that he received adequate representation during a critical stage of the proceedings. For the reasons provided, Appellant's arguments are without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Procedural and Factual History

         {¶2} In State v. Herring, 7th Dist. No. 00 JE 37, 2002-Ohio-2786 ("Herring I"), this Court set out the facts of this case:

In the early morning hours of May 31, 1999, Terrell Yarbrough (co-defendant in this case) and Herring broke into the home of Aaron Land, Brian Muha and Andrew Doran located at 165 McDowell Avenue, Steubenville, Ohio. Yarbrough and Herring beat and kidnapped Land and Muha. Andrew Doran escaped from the house and called the police.
Yarbrough and Herring forced Land and Muha into Muha's Chevy Blazer. Yarbrough and Herring proceeded to drive the victims through Ohio, West Virginia and into Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, Yarbrough and Herring forced the victims up a hillside along U.S. 22. On that hillside both victims were shot in the head at close range.
Yarbrough and Herring immediately proceeded to drive to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Herring was caught on a bank video trying to use Muha's ATM card. While in Pittsburgh, Herring and Yarbrough robbed Barbara Vey at gunpoint of her BMW. These events occurred within hours of the murders of Land and Muha.
Yarbrough drove the stolen Blazer back to Steubenville, while Herring drove the stolen BMW back to Steubenville. Yarbrough and Herring were later apprehended. Fingerprints and blood of Herring were found in both the BMW and in the Blazer.
Herring was indicted in a twenty count indictment. The indictment included two counts of aggravated robbery, each with a firearm specification; one count of aggravated burglary, with a firearm specification; two counts of kidnapping, each with a firearm specification; one count of gross sexual imposition; six counts of aggravated murder for the murder of Land, each with firearm specifications and aggravating circumstances specifications (capital offense); six counts of aggravated murder for the murder of Muha, each with firearm specifications and aggravating circumstances specifications (capital offense); one count of receiving stolen property; and one count of grand theft. Herring's case went to trial. The jury found him guilty on all charges except for the gross sexual imposition charge. During the sentencing phase, the jury returned a recommendation of life imprisonment without parole for each of the two murders.
The trial court sentenced Herring to a total of twelve years for the firearm specifications. He received three years on each of the firearm specifications in the two kidnapping counts; three years on the firearm specifications for the aggravated murder of Land; and three years on the firearm specifications for the aggravated murder of Muha. The trial court sentenced Herring to a total of fifty-three years for two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of receiving stolen property, and one count of grand theft. The trial court followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Herring to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of Land and Muha. The trial court held that consecutive sentences were necessary to fulfill the purposes of R.C. 2929.11. Therefore, Herring was ...

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