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State v. Jefferson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

March 31, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
TERRY L. JEFFERSON, JR. Defendant-Appellant

         Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court, T.C. NO. 16-CR-330

          MICHAEL J. SCARPELLI, Atty. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

          CARL BRYAN, Atty. Reg. Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Terry L. Jefferson, Jr. pled guilty in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas to two counts of felonious assault (serious physical harm and deadly weapon), felonies of the second degree, and to one count of aggravated robbery (serious physical harm), a felony of the first degree. He was convicted and sentenced to six years on each offense, with the sentences to be served concurrently. The trial court also imposed post-release control and ordered Jefferson to pay costs.

         {¶ 2} Jefferson appeals, arguing that the felonious assaults should have been merged into the aggravated robbery, because they were allied offenses of similar import. For the following reasons, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

         I. Facts

         {¶ 3} The incident that led to the charges against Jefferson occurred on January 28, 2016. Jefferson had a history of doing odd jobs and handyman work for James Reid, and sometime earlier, Jefferson had repaired a roof on a property owned by Reid; Jefferson had not been paid for this work. Although the timeline was unclear, the roofing work appears to have been performed at least several months, and possibly as much as two years, before the altercation in question.

         {¶ 4} On January 28, 2016, Jefferson and Reid ran into each other by chance at a grocery store, and they exchanged words inside the store over the money that was allegedly owed. They then proceeded to their own vehicles in the parking lot. As Reid was attempting to leave the parking lot, Jefferson drove his pick-up truck into the driver's side door of Reid's SUV. Reid believed that he was briefly knocked unconscious.

         {¶ 5} Jefferson then got out of his truck, reached through the broken window of Reid's SUV, and choked and beat Reid. Reid stated that he regained consciousness as he was being choked. Jefferson jumped through the window and continued to assault Reid; the two men eventually moved or fell into the back seat of the SUV and then fell out onto the pavement and grass, as Jefferson kicked and punched Reid in the head. During the altercation, Jefferson was demanding money from Reid. Jefferson eventually took a necklace off of Reid's neck and some lottery tickets that he had just purchased, which had been in the front pocket of his pants. Jefferson then left the scene.

         {¶ 6} Reid suffered serious injuries, including broken bones in his face, and he needed reconstructive surgery.

         {¶ 7} Several bystanders witnessed the altercation between Jefferson and Reid, and two people videotaped a substantial portion of the altercation. One of these videos was played at the sentencing hearing.

         {¶ 8} On February 5, 2016, Jefferson was indicted on two counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated robbery, as described above. He pled guilty to each of the offenses and was sentenced to concurrent six-year terms. The trial court concluded that the offenses were not allied offenses of similar import and did not merge them for sentencing.

         II. ...


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