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State v. Saunders

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Scioto

March 13, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JEROME SAUNDERS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Jerome Saunders, Nelsonville, Ohio, Pro Se Appellant.

          Robert Shawn Statton, Portsmouth, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Mark E. Kuhn, Scioto County Prosecuting Attorney, Portsmouth, Ohio, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          Matthew W. McFarland, Judge

         {¶1} Jerome Saunders appeals his convictions and sentences for possession of cocaine and tampering with evidence in the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas. Appellant's counsel has advised the Court that he has reviewed the record and can find no meritorious claim for appeal. As a result, Appellant's counsel has moved to withdraw under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396 (1967). Although counsel suggests that no arguable, non-frivolous issues of reversible error exist, he does set forth one potential assignment of error as to whether the trial court erred in denying Appellant's motion to suppress. Appellant has also filed a pro se brief raising one assignment error, which contends that the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress was contrary to law as there was no reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop his vehicle.

         {¶2} Having reviewed the record, we find the trial court failed to dispose of the first count of the indictment charging Appellant with trafficking in cocaine, resulting in the lack of a final appealable order for us to review. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.

         FACTS

         {¶3} On September 16, 2014, Appellant, Jerome Saunders, was indicted in Scioto County, Ohio, for one count of trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2) and (C)(4)(f), one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) and (C)(4)(e), and one count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1) and (B). The trial court found Appellant guilty on counts two and three, sentenced Appellant to agreed consecutive sentences totaling seven years, yet failed to address count one for trafficking in cocaine. Based upon the record before us, which does not include transcripts of the hearings held below, it does not appear the State moved to dismiss count one at any stage of the proceeding.

         POTENTIAL ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         "I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT SAUNDERS' MOTION TO SUPPRESS."

         PRO SE ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         "I. THERE WAS NO REASONABLE ARTICULABLE SUSPICION TO STOP APPELLANT'S VEHICLE AND THEREFORE THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION TO OVERRULE APPELLANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS WAS CONTRARY TO LAW."

         ANDERS

         {¶4} In this case, appellate counsel filed an Anders brief and a motion for leave to withdraw. In State v. Lester, 4th Dist. Vinton No. 12CA689, 2013-Ohio-2485, ...


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