Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark Stanton Cuyahoga County Public
Defender BY: Jeffrey Gamso Assistant Public Defender.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Owen M. Patton Assistant Prosecuting
BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, J., Kilbane, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
T. GALLAGHER, J.
Defendant-appellant, Brett A. Turner ("Turner"),
appeals his convictions and raises two assignments of error:
1. Mr. Turner's right to due process and a fundamentally
fair trial was violated when he was convicted of aggravated
robbery on insufficient evidence.
2. Mr. Turner's conviction for felonious assault was
against the manifest weight of the evidence.
We find no merit to the appeal and affirm the trial
Facts and Procedural History
Turner was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, in
violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1) and (3), two counts of
felonious assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A)(1) and
(2), and one count of having a weapon while under disability,
in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3). The aggravated robbery
and felonious assault charges included one- and three-year
firearm specifications. The charges resulted from an incident
in which Steve Baker-Terrell ("Baker-Terrell") was
shot outside his girlfriend's house on Cable Avenue in
Cleveland. Turner waived his right to a jury on the having a
weapon while under disability charge, and the remaining
counts were tried to a jury.
Baker-Terrell testified that on the evening of June 24, 2015,
he stopped by the home of his daughter's mother, Jamie
Carr ("Carr"), to give her some money for the
child's care. During the visit, Carr's brother
"Bub" joined Baker-Terrell for a drink in
Baker-Terrell's vehicle. Shortly thereafter, Carr
approached the vehicle and warned the men that there were
"a couple of cats" coming down the street and that
they had better be careful. Baker-Terrell testified that as
five armed men approached his vehicle, he took approximately
$1, 000 in cash from his pocket and placed it in the vehicle
along with two cell phones. (Tr. 286, 290.)
Per Baker-Terrell's instruction, he and Bub exited the
vehicle, and Baker-Terrell offered the men some Hennessy.
The reason why I did that is just to take their mind off
whatever they was thinking. If somebody thinking about
shooting or killing me, let me offer them something, take his
mind off of it. That's the reason I did that. I don't
care if I didn't know 'em, that's just what I did
to take their mind off of whatever their intention was of
According to Baker-Terrell, the men accepted the Hennessy but
nevertheless began shooting within minutes of their arrival.
(Tr. 297.) The men shot Baker-Terrell in the calf and fired
several shots into his car and into another car that was
driving down the street. Baker-Terrell took a few steps and
fell to the ground, but managed to flee to a neighbor's
A neighbor was sitting on her boyfriend's front porch
directly across the street from Baker-Terrell's car. She
was talking to Bub when she suddenly heard arguing and
gunfire in the street. The neighbor testified that she only
saw one man with Baker-Terrell, and that he had a small
handgun. Following the shooting, the neighbor and Bub
attended to Baker-Terrell, who appeared to be going into
shock. They tied a shirt around his leg to stop the bleeding
until an ambulance arrived.
The neighbor told police the shooter was a black male,
shorter than 5'6, " had a short buzzed haircut, and
was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. She knew the gunman
was less than 5'6" tall because he was shorter than
Baker-Terrell, who is approximately 5'6" tall. When
asked whether there was more than one gunman, the neighbor
testified: "I didn't see any other - I assume if
someone else had a gun they should have been shooting also,
but no one else was shooting. No one else had a gun."
Police scanned the area, searching for the suspect. Officer
Michael Schwebs ("Schwebs") of the Cleveland Police
Department testified that he and his partner, Sergeant
Stephen Beckner ("Beckner"), responded to the scene
and observed a black male, fitting the description the
neighbor gave, walking on some nearby railroad tracks. As
soon as the suspect saw the police, he ran into a large field
of tall grass and disappeared. Schwebs followed the suspect
on foot while ...