FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 2015-07-2207
REBECCA M. BLACK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Appellant, Julie Keyser, appeals the judgment of the Summit
County Court of Common Pleas denying her motion to suppress.
For the reasons set forth below, this Court affirms.
Ms. Keyser was indicted on three counts: possession of
heroin, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and
possessing drug abuse instruments. She pled not guilty to the
charges and filed a motion to suppress "any and all
tangible or intangible evidence" obtained as a result of
the illegal stop, detention, and questioning. Because this
evidence includes the heroin, the issue is not forfeited. The
trial court excluded her statements and needles, but did not
suppress the heroin found after her arrest. Ms. Keyser pled
no contest to an amended count of possession of drugs and was
found guilty. Based on the suppression ruling, the State
dismissed the remaining counts. The State did not appeal the
suppression of the statements or the needles. Ms. Keyser
timely appeals the denial of the motion to suppress the
TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW, IN VIOLATION OF MS.
KEYSER'S FOURTH, FIFTH, AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS
UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO
CONSTITUTION IN ITS APPLICATION OF THE LAW TO THE FACTS OF
HER SEIZURE, CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION, ARREST, AND THE
POLICE'S SEARCH OF HER VEHICLE.
Ms. Keyser's sole assignment of error is that the trial
court erred in violation of her rights under the
Self-Incrimination Clause of the Ohio Constitution by failing
to suppress the heroin found as a direct result of a
Miranda violation. While Ms. Keyser lists both the
United States and Ohio Constitutions in her assignment of
error, her argument is limited to the Ohio Constitution. This
A motion to suppress evidence presents a mixed question of
law and fact. State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152,
2003-Ohio-5372, ¶ 8. "When considering a motion to
suppress, the trial court assumes the role of trier of fact
and is therefore in the best position to resolve factual
questions and evaluate the credibility of witnesses."
Id., citing State v. Mills, 62 Ohio St.3d
357, 366 (1992). Thus, a reviewing court "must accept
the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported
by competent, credible evidence." Burnside at
¶ 8, citing State v. Fanning, 1 Ohio St.3d 19,
20 (1982). "Accepting these facts as true, the appellate
court must then independently determine, without deference to
the conclusion of the trial court, whether the facts satisfy
the applicable legal standard." Burnside at
¶ 8, citing State v. McNamara, 124 Ohio App.3d
706, 710 (4th Dist.1997). Therefore, this Court grants
deference to the trial court's findings of fact, but
conducts a de novo review of whether the trial court applied
the appropriate legal standard to those facts. State v.
Booth, 151 Ohio App.3d 635, 2003-Ohio-829, ¶ 12
Court's Findings of Fact
Officers Tassone and Westlake of the Akron Police Department
were conducting a routine patrol of the parking lot of
Gatsby's Strip Club. The parking lot is a high drug area.
The officers were looking for individuals who remain inside
their cars, because this type of activity is a red ...