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State v. Rogers

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Guernsey

March 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
WALTER J. ROGERS Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Guernsey County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 16 CR 51

          For Plaintiff-Appellee JASON R. FARLEY Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant ROBERT MCCLELLAND Graham & Graham Co., LPA

          JUDGES: Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Baldwin, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Walter J. Rogers appeals a judgment of the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court convicting him of tampering with evidence (R.C. 2921.12) and sentencing him to twenty-four months incarceration. Appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On February 26, 2016, Trooper Joshua Zaugg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and two other troopers were dispatched to the area of State Route 313 and Interstate 77, in reference to a vehicle reported stolen by the Newark Police Department. The vehicle had a GPS tracking device that provided the location of the vehicle. Trooper Zaugg saw a black Chrysler Sebring matching the description of the vehicle. He ran the license plate number, which came back registered to a different type of vehicle.

         {¶3} The trooper activated his overhead lights and a high speed chase ensued. During the chase, two plastic baggies were thrown from the vehicle. The baggies were empty; however, one of the baggies had appellant's name on it.

         {¶4} Finally, the vehicle went off the road and became disabled in a creek bed. The occupants fled on foot into the woods. The troopers, with the assistance of the Guernsey County Sheriffs Department, used a canine officer to track the two men. The driver was first located, followed by appellant, who was the passenger in the vehicle.

         {¶5} Appellant was indicted by the Guernsey County Grand Jury with one count of tampering with evidence on April 11, 2016. The case proceeded to jury trial, where he was convicted as charged and sentenced to twenty-four months incarceration with 140 days of jail time credit.

         {¶6} Appellant assigns four errors on appeal:

         {¶7} "I. THE DEFENDANTS CONVICTION WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE.

         {¶8} "II. THE COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR AQUITTAL ...


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