from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court Nos.
15CR0256 and 16CR0032
Dorothy L. Williams for Appellant.
M. Boes for Appellee.
Defendant-appellant, Mark D. Woelke ("Woelke"),
appeals the October 28, 2016 judgment of the Seneca County
Court of Common Pleas, in case number 15CR0256, journalizing
his conviction by a jury for one count of Burglary, in
violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(3), (D), a felony of the third
degree, and sentencing him to a prison term of thirty-six
months. Woelke also appeals the October 28, 2016 judgment of
the Seneca County Court of Common Pleas, in case number
16CR0032, journalizing his conviction by a jury for six
counts of Burglary, in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2), (D),
all felonies of the second degree, and three counts of Grand
Theft of a Motor Vehicle, in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(1),
(B)(5), all felonies of the fourth degree, and sentencing him
to an aggregate prison term of eighteen years and thirty-six
months to run consecutive to his prison term imposed in case
On appeal, Woelke assigns as error the trial court's
decision overruling his motions to compel and motions for
acquittal. Specifically, Woelke challenges the trial
court's finding that the investigating detective's
notes, which were not disclosed in discovery by the
prosecution, were not exculpatory evidence.
and Procedural History
On October 19, 2015, at 11:50 a.m., Officer Gabriel Wedge of
the Fostoria Police Department was traveling to his office
from his residence in Seneca County when he observed a female
driving a vehicle suspected to be involved in a number of
daytime burglaries and thefts in the area. Officer Wedge
followed the vehicle to his neighbor's home and witnessed
Woelke exit the home and throw something into the trunk of
the vehicle, which was later determined to be a flat screen
television. Knowing that Woelke was not a resident of the
home, Officer Wedge pulled into the driveway to attempt to
block the vehicle from leaving, but Woelke, who was now in
the driver's seat, was able to drive through the adjacent
field and around Officer Wedge's vehicle. Detective Wedge
pursued the vehicle in a high-speed chase, but eventually
lost track of it in Wood County and decided to stop the
pursuit due to the fact that the rate of speed at times was
dangerously high and that he was driving an unmarked vehicle
which did not have lights or sirens.
Officer Wedge was later able to determine the identity of the
female he observed driving the car as Jennifer Godsey. Woelke
was indicted for a third degree felony burglary offense, in
case number 15CR0256, to which he entered a plea of not
guilty. Godsey was also indicted for complicity to burglary.
Godsey eventually entered into a plea agreement with the
prosecution and agreed to provide information regarding the
burglaries and thefts. Godsey revealed that she helped Woelke
break into numerous homes and buildings to steal personal
property from April 2015 to October 2015. She explained that
Woelke chose a property to enter looking for ATVs, guns,
televisions, money or jewelry. She then drove around the area
while Woelke was in the home or out structure and, after
sufficient time had passed, she circled back to pick him up
with the stolen items. The two then drove to Toledo to
exchange the objects for heroin, or sometimes money, that
they received from a drug dealer named "Freddie."
The pair then returned to Woelke's mother's home
where they used the drugs. They stayed at the home for days
or weeks at time, depending on how much heroin they received.
Once they consumed all the drugs in their possession they set
out to find another residence to burglarize.
On January 6, 2016, Godsey agreed to ride in a vehicle with
Detective Reinbolt of the Seneca County Sheriffs Office and
the investigator from the Seneca County Prosecutor's
Office. The three drove around the county as Godsey
identified the locations where Woelke committed the burglary
and theft offenses. She also recalled the items that were
taken from each location and the mode of Woelke's entry.
Detective Reinbolt wrote down the addresses and information
as Godsey relayed it. Detective Reinbolt returned to his
office and cross checked the addresses and details of the
offenses in his database, which confirmed the information
given by Godsey.
On February 18, 2016, in case number 16CR0032, an eleven
count indictment was returned against Woelke alleging that
Woelke committed eight counts of second degree felony
Burglary and three counts of Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle,
each a fourth degree felony. Woelke entered pleas of not
guilty to the charges and the case proceeded to discovery.
On September 15, 2016, the trial court granted the
prosecution's motion to consolidate case number 15CR0256
and case number 16CR0032 for purposes of trial.
On October 13, 2016, Woelke filed a Motion to Compel
Additional Discovery in each case claiming that the
prosecution had failed to provide certain requested
discovery, including any written or recorded statements made
by Godsey during the course of the investigation, as well as
any investigative reports or notes made by law enforcement.
The prosecution filed a response claiming it had fully
complied with the discovery request.
On October 17, 2016, the trial court granted the
prosecution's motion to dismiss with prejudice Counts Ten
and Eleven of the indictment in case number 16CR0032.
On October 25, 2016, the case proceeded to a two-day jury
trial on the remaining charges. Prior to opening statements,
and outside the presence of the jury, the trial court
addressed the pending motions to compel with the parties on
the record. Defense counsel raised an issue with respect to a
reference made by Detective Reinbolt in a recorded interview
with Godsey to handwritten notes Detective Reinbolt had taken
during the "ride-along" with Godsey. The defense
claimed that they had not received any handwritten
investigation notes from the prosecution in discovery despite
the specific request being made. (Tr. Trans. at 142, 144).
The prosecution explained that any material or notes used in
the investigation in relation to Godsey's interview was
incorporated into Detective Reinbolt's investigation
report. The prosecutor further contended that any and all
notes were work product and were destroyed after they were
compiled into the formal report, which was provided to the
defense in discovery. (Id. at 143).
The prosecutor informed the trial court that she had not seen
the notes and conferred with Detective Reinbolt who relayed
to her that the notes in question "consisted only of
five different addresses on a piece of paper when [Detective
Reinbolt and Godsey] went to the location in the County where
many of [the] reported burglaries had occurred. There
weren't many notes taken on them at all. What the notes
consisted of were basically the location, what-was entry
made, how was entry made, was Ms. Godsey with the Defendant
at the time and what items were stolen from the locations.
" (Tr. Trans. at 162).
The prosecutor confirmed that the handwritten notes had been
destroyed, but the contents were rewritten in Detective
Reinbolt's formal investigation report and that there was
no intention to conceal the contents from the defense.
Moreover, the prosecutor stated that the State planned on
calling both Godsey and Detective Reinbolt to the stand
during its case-in-chief. Woelke's defense counsel
renewed the objection asserting that the prosecution had
failed to comply with its discovery request and moved for
acquittal. The trial court overruled the motions for
acquittal and motions to compel additional discovery
concluding that the defense's discovery request had fully
been complied with by the State and therefore there was no
ground for acquittal on that basis.
The case continued to trial where the State presented the
testimony of thirteen witnesses, including Godsey and
Detective Reinbolt, and the defense presented the testimony
of two witnesses in its case. In addition, the recorded
interview with Godsey, which provided the basis for the
defense's discovery objection, was also played for the
jury at trial on Godsey's cross-examination by the
defense. The jury returned a verdict convicting Woelke of one
count of third degree felony Burglary in case number
15CR0256, and six counts of second degree felony Burglary and
three counts of fourth degree felony Grand Theft of Motor
Vehicle in case number 16CR0032.
Woelke filed this appeal, asserting the following ...