Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Guernsey
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 15 CR 80
Plaintiff-Appellee JOEL BLUE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY JASON R.
FARLEY ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR.
Defendant-Appellant TERRENCE K. SCOTT ASSISTANT PUBLIC
JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P. J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon.
Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Appellant Reginald Jevon Newman appeals his conviction, in
the Court of Common Pleas, Guernsey County, on several felony
counts, including cocaine trafficking and possession.
Appellee is the State of Ohio. The relevant procedural facts
leading to this appeal are as follows.
The State's criminal case against appellant developed out
of a series of controlled drug purchases through a
confidential police informant in February, March, and April
2015, and the subsequent execution of a search warrant at a
residence on Fairground Road in Lore City, Ohio. The search
warrant in question was signed by Guernsey County's
probate/juvenile judge on April 16, 2015, although the form
utilized the heading "Cambridge Municipal Court,
Guernsey County, Ohio."
On August 7, 2015, appellant was indicted by the Guernsey
County Grand Jury on two counts of trafficking in cocaine
(R.C. 2925.03(C)(4)(d)), one count of trafficking in cocaine
(R.C. 2925.03(C)(4)(e)), three counts of conspiracy to commit
trafficking in cocaine (R.C. 2923.01), one count of illegal
manufacture of drugs (R.C. 2925.04), one count of possession
of cocaine (R.C. 2925.11(C)(4)(e)), two counts of possession
of cocaine (R.C. 2925.11(C)(4)(a)), one count of possession
of drugs (suboxone) (R.C. 2925.11(C)(2)(a)), and one count of
possession of drugs (alprazolam) (R.C. 2925.11 (C)(2)(a)).
On September 4, 2015, appellant filed a motion to suppress
evidence. The motion raised several grounds, including the
argument that the probate/juvenile judge did not have
authority or jurisdiction to sign the search warrant,
particularly when labeled with a municipal court heading. A
hearing on the motion to suppress was conducted on September
On October 2, 2015, the trial court issued a judgment entry,
with findings of facts and conclusions of law, denying
appellant's motion to suppress.
The court subsequently dismissed the count of possession of
suboxone and the count of possession of alprazolam. A jury
trial commenced on April 14, 2016, following which appellant
was found guilty of all remaining counts in the indictment
except count one (trafficking in cocaine (R.C.
2925.03(C)(4)(d)) and count two (conspiracy to commit
trafficking in cocaine (R.C. 2923.01)).
On June 27, 2016, the trial court sentenced appellant to a
total sentence of sixteen years in prison.
On July 28, 2016, appellant filed a notice of
appeal. He herein raises the following two
Assignments of Error:
"I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT CONVICTED MR. NEWMAN
OF ENHANCED-DEGREE FELONIES FOR TRAFFICKING OR POSSESSION OF
COCAINE BASED ON GROSS WEIGHT THAT INCLUDED OTHER MATERIAL,
INSTEAD OF THE WEIGHT OF ACTUAL COCAINE, IN VIOLATION OF HIS
RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO ...