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State v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland

May 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
DARRYL J. TAYLOR Defendant-Appellant

         Criminal appeal from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2014CR0468R

          For Plaintiff-Appellee DANIEL ROGERS Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant R. JOSHUA BROWN

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          GWIN, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Darryl J. Taylor ["Taylor] appeals the November 19, 2014 Judgment Entry of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas that overruled his motion to suppress all statements made from his interrogation on July 7, 2014.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On August 12, 2014, an indictment was filed in the Common Pleas Court of Richland County, Ohio. Count One of the Indictment charged Taylor (aka) "Wheezy" with one count of Having Weapons While Under Disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2), a felony of the third degree. Count Two of the Indictment charged Taylor with Receiving Stolen Property in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), a felony of the fourth degree; the property involved being a firearm as defined in R.C. 2923.11. These crimes were alleged to have occurred between or on about May 9, 2014 and on or about July 7, 2014. The indictment was assigned Case Number 2014-CR-468.

         {¶3} On October 23, 2014, a Motion to Suppress and/or Limine to Bar the Introduction of Evidence was filed on behalf of Taylor. This motion asked for an order excluding and/or suppressing all statements gained from the custodial interrogation of appellant "on or about July 9, 2014." (Sic) The interview actually occurred on July 7, 2014. The essence of the motion was that Taylor was not given Miranda warnings prior to his custodial interrogation in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Section 10, Article 1 of the Ohio Constitution. A hearing was held November 12, 2014. A Judgment Entry overruling Taylor's Motion to Suppress was filed November 19, 2014. On December 5, 2014, Taylor entered a no contest plea to both counts in Case Number 2014-CR-468.

          {¶4} On December 8, 2014, an indictment was filed in Case No. 2014-CR-788, charging Taylor with murder. The murder was alleged to have occurred on or about July 7, 2014.

         {¶5} Taylor filed a motion to withdraw his no contest plea in Case No. 2014-CR-468 on January 2, 2015. The trial court granted Taylor's request by Judgment Entry filed January 22, 2015. The state filed a motion for joinder requesting Case Numbers 2014-CR-468 and 2014-CR-788 (Murder indictment) be tried together. The trial court granted the motion to join the two cases.

         {¶6} Case numbers 2014-CR-468 and 2014-CR-788 were eventually scheduled for trial on September 8, 2016. On August 29, 2016, Taylor again entered a no contest plea to both counts in Case No. 2014-CR-468, Having Weapons While Under Disability and Receiving Stolen Property. The Court held sentencing in abeyance and Taylor proceeded to trial in Case No. 2014-CR-788 for the Murder charge.

         {¶7} On July 15, 2016, Taylor was indicted for Tampering with Evidence. The indictment was assigned Case Number 2016-CR-478. The date alleged was July 7, 2014.

         {¶8} The Tampering with Evidence case and Murder case were joined. Taylor was found guilty by a jury of both counts.

         {¶9} In Case Number 2014-CR-468 the court imposed a 24 month prison sentence on Count I for Having a Weapon While Under Disability and merged Count II with Count I. The 24 months imposed in 2014-CR-468 was to run consecutive to the sentence imposed in 2014-CR-788 [Murder] and 2016-CR-478 [Tampering with Evidence].

         Motion to Suppress.

         {¶10} The following evidence was adduced during the November 12, 2014 hearing on Taylor's motion to suppress.

         {¶11} During the Suppression Hearing on November 12, 2014, the state presented testimony from Sergeant Will Gordon and introduced a video recording of Taylor's interview with Sergeant Gordon and Detective Pat Smith from July 7, 2014. (State's Exhibit 1). Taylor introduced a transcript of his interview from July 7, 2014. (Defendant's Exhibit A).

         {¶12} On July 7, 2014, Sergeant Gordon of the Richland County Sheriffs Office ["RCSO"] was dispatched to 1273 Kings Corners East Road in Richland County, Ohio in response to a report that there was a deceased person at that location. Upon Sergeant Gordon's arrival, he noticed several people in the area that were distraught/upset. Sergeant Gordon discovered a deceased D. H. lying on a bed covered by a sheet, with a gunshot wound in her chin, and a .44 Magnum Red Hawk handgun in her right hand.

         {¶13} After discovering the body, Deputies made contact with three individuals who were inside 1273 Kings Corner East Road at the time of the shooting: Shane Lambert, Bonnie Tittle, and Taylor.

         {¶14} Mr. Lambert, Ms. Tittle, and Taylor, were not handcuffed, arrested, or considered suspects at that point. Each agreed to provide the police statements regarding what happened to D.H. Mr. Lambert, Ms. Tittle, and Taylor were each transported to RCSO in RCSO vehicles, as the interviews could not be conducted at 1273 Kings Corner East Road due to the coroner's investigation of the scene.

         {¶15} Deputy Kiener brought Taylor to the detective bureau in a Sheriffs cruiser. Taylor was placed in the back seat of the cruiser. Sergeant Gordon testified there is no way for a person to get out of the back seat if the doors are locked, as they should be. Taylor was not afforded the opportunity to obtain a shirt before being transported. Taylor appears shirtless throughout the interview. ...


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