from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney, By:
KRISTINE W. BEARD Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Appellate
Defendant-Appellant AARON KOVALCHIK.
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. John W.
Defendant-appellant Christopher High appeals his convictions
and sentence entered by the Stark County Court of Common
Pleas on one count of aggravated robbery, one count of
aggravated burglary, and one count of felonious assault. Each
count carried an attendant firearm specification.
Plaintiff-appellee is the state of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On December 9, 2012, Rockford Estep was at his residence
located at 127 12th Street N.W., Massillon, Ohio.
Estep maintains he looked outside his window and noticed a
dark colored van. He then observed Appellant at his window
with a bag of marijuana. Estep recognized Appellant from
previous marijuana purchases, and invited him into his house.
Estep observed an all black Ford van outside, which van he
had seen Appellant drive on other occasions.
Upon entering the home, Appellant requested Estep let his
dogs outside. When Estep turned to do so, he saw two masked
men running into his home. Appellant then hit Estep with a firearm
and demanded money. Estep estimated he was hit with the gun
about ten times, and got "hit pretty good with it."
Estep gave Appellant $700.00 he had in his pocket.
The other two men continued to rummage and steal items from
Estep's home, during which time Appellant held a gun to
the back of Estep's head. A home alarm was triggered.
Appellant told Estep to turn off the alarm. While Estep went
to turn off the alarm, he ran out the back door, jumping a
fence, sustaining injury. While running, Estep shouted to
A neighbor heard Estep shouting to call 911, and further
observed the dark colored van. He wrote down the van's
license plate number, and called 911.
Jim Nixon of the Canton Police Department responded to the
call, observing the van pulling out of a drive-thru. He
verified the license plate number of the van, and initiated a
stop. The van did not pull over, and entered the jurisdiction
of the North Canton Police Department.
Sergeant Ronald Mizner of the North Canton Police Department
located the abandoned van, impounding it and then conducting
an inventory search of the same. The owner of the van was
identified as Pasha Smalls. Inside the van an invoice for
repairs was found with both Smalls and Appellant's name
Sgt. Mizner then interviewed Estep at the hospital, where
Estep related he knew Appellant as "Big C" or
"Chris" as he purchased marijuana from him in the
past. Estep described Appellant's physical appearance.
The Stark County Grand Jury indicted Appellant on one count
of aggravated robbery, in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1)
and/or (3), with a firearm specification, in violation of
R.C. 2941.145; one count of aggravated burglary, in violation
of R.C. 2911.11(A)(1) and/or (2), with a firearm
specification, in violation of R.C. 2941.145; and one count
of felonious assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1),
with a firearm specification, in violation of R.C. 2941.145.
The matter proceeded to a jury trial on March 29, 2016. The
jury found Appellant guilty on all counts. The trial court
sentenced Appellant as follows:
Count One, Aggravated Robbery: Six years
Count Two, Aggravated Burglary: Six years, concurrent with
the sentence imposed on Count One.
Count Three, Felonious Assault: Four years, consecutive to
the sentence imposed on Counts One and Two.
Each gun specification carried a three year term of
incarceration. The trial court merged the sentences on all
three firearm specifications, imposing the three years
consecutive to the sentences already imposed on the other
The trial court's total sentence imposed amounted to
Appellant appeals, assigning as error, I. APPELLANTS
CONVICTIONS WERE AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY
OF THE EVIDENCE.
TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ORDERING APPELLANT TO SERVE CONSECUTIVE
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT FAILED TO MERGE APPELLANTS