Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
APPELLANT Maurice Freeman, pro se
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor Brett Hammond Assistant County Prosecutor
BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and Jones, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE
Defendant-appellant, Maurice Freeman ("Freeman"),
pro se, appeals from the denial of his motion to withdraw
waiver of jury trial. For the reasons set forth below, we
The facts of this appeal were previously set forth by this
court in Freeman's prior appeal, State v.
Freeman, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 80720, 2002-Ohio-4572.
[I]n the early morning hours of July 25, 2001[, at]
approximately 3:30 a.m., Freeman presented himself at the
home of his seventeen-year old friend, Lekeia Staples.
[Freeman asked to use her phone.]
* * *
Lekeia's grandmother still was entertaining a number of
friends; therefore, Freeman's request to use Lekeia's
telephone created no difficulties. Lekeia retrieved the
cordless telephone while Freeman waited on the downstairs
porch. She then stood by as Freeman made his call._
A few moments later, Lekeia saw an automobile traveling on
East 115th Street. Just as the vehicle turned onto Beulah
Avenue, Freeman called out loudly the name "Thurl."
Lekeia knew the name; Thurlon Hill had been a friend of hers
and Freeman's for over ten years. At the sound of
Freeman's voice, the automobile halted its progress and
reversed its direction. Freeman handed Lekeia the telephone
and walked over to the automobile. The passenger door opened,
thus permitting Freeman access to the rear passenger seat.
Once Freeman was inside, the vehicle continued on its way.
Lekeia returned to the second-floor unit._
The vehicle belonged to the victim, Alphonso Amos. With him,
seated in the front passenger seat, was Thurlon Hill. Freeman
was inside the vehicle only a short time before Hill heard a
shot fired. At Freeman's trial, Hill testified he turned
toward the sound to see Freeman "pulling the gun
back." Amos was frantically "grabbing" at
Freeman's hands in an attempt to snatch the weapon away.
With the driver's attention thus diverted, Amos'
vehicle struck a utility pole and stopped.
Amos at that time abandoned both his attempt to disarm
Freeman and his automobile. He exited the vehicle and
proceeded to run down East 115th Street. He was bleeding onto
the pavement as he ran. Amos traveled only a short distance
before collapsing onto the sidewalk._
The sound of the weapon's discharge drew the attention of
people in the vicinity. John Bland, who had been in the
process of leaving Lekeia's grandmother's residence,
had reached the driveway when he saw Amos' vehicle strike
the utility pole. Bland continued to watch; he saw the driver
leap out, run a short distance, and then fall. After Amos
dropped to the sidewalk, Bland saw the vehicle travel in
reverse away from the pole, hesitate briefly, and slowly
proceed on the street toward ...