Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Noble
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Noble County, Ohio
Case No. 216-2002
Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Kelly Riddle
Defendant-Appellant: Atty Stephen T. Wolfe Wolfe Law Group,
Carol Ann Robb Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Mary DeGenaro
Defendant-Appellant Ty E. Woodford appeals the judgment of
the Noble County Common Pleas Court after a jury convicted
him of complicity to illegal manufacturing of drugs in the
vicinity of a juvenile and two merged offenses. Appellant
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. He also
challenges the jury's weighing of the evidence. For the
following reasons, the trial court's judgment is
OF THE CASE
Due to police observations occurring in the garage at
Appellant's Caldwell residence on December 10, 2015,
Appellant was indicted on three drug counts. Count one
charged complicity in the illegal manufacture of drugs, a
first-degree felony due to the drug being methamphetamine and
due to the allegation the offense was committed in the
vicinity of a juvenile. See R.C. 2925.04(A), (C)(1),
(3)(b). Count two charged Appellant with the illegal assembly
or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a
second-degree felony due to the allegation the offense was
committed in the vicinity of a juvenile. See R.C.
2925.041(A), (C). Count three charged Appellant with
permitting drug abuse, a first-degree misdemeanor.
See R.C. 2925.13(B), (C)(3).
At trial, Deputy Myers and Deputy Stokes testified the Noble
County Sheriff's Department received a report concerning
a stolen vehicle at Appellant's residence. When they
pulled into Appellant's driveway, Appellant was standing
by his truck which was parked near a detached garage.
Appellant was holding a twelve-inch long file; he explained
he was using it to sharpen his chainsaw and said he was at
his truck to get some tools. (Tr. 26, 28, 51). There was no
garage door on the garage, which allowed the officers to see
a vehicle inside. Deputy Myers testified he saw a tattered
tarp partially covering a yellow 1971 Fleetside truck
matching the description of the stolen vehicle. (Tr. 26, 27,
40). When the officers advised Appellant of this fact and of
his rights, Appellant signed a consent form allowing the
officers to search the garage. (Tr. 26, 51).
Appellant said William Cool was working on the truck. (Tr.
37). At this point, William Cool walked out of the garage. He
was secured in the cruiser, and the officers entered the
garage. (Tr. 27). As the officers approached the truck in the
garage, they noticed a strong chemical smell, which they both
recognized as the smell of a methamphetamine lab. (Tr. 28,
51). Two men (Randy Rainer and Bryan Henthorne) then emerged
from a room in the back left corner of the garage. The
officers secured the two men and re-entered the garage. (Tr.
27). When they reached the back left corner, they observed
items which appeared to be part of a methamphetamine lab.
(Tr. 27-28, 52). In the lab area, they also noticed a
chainsaw on a stool; it appeared someone had been working on
it. (Tr. 28-29, 52). For safety reasons, the officers vacated
the garage and called a special task force with expertise in
neutralizing the volatile chemicals involved in making
methamphetamine (aka meth). (Tr. 29-30). Thereafter, they
noticed various items used in making meth were scattered
throughout the garage. (Tr. 42-43).
When asked if Appellant made any statements to him
acknowledging the lab, Deputy Stokes responded, "He said
he wouldn't know what it looked like." (Tr. 53).
Deputy Myers testified that after he confronted Appellant
with his observations, "[Appellant] stated that he felt
there was a small shake and bake but it was not his. He said
it was Mr. Cool's. * * * He said he had seen one which
what he referred to as a shake and bake." (Tr. 28, 48).
The officer explained the phrase "shake and bake"
is the slang term for the type of meth lab involved. (Tr.
A lieutenant with the special task force testified he was
trained to disassemble and neutralize the components of a
meth lab. He confirmed the meth-making involved was called
the "one pot shake and bake method." (Tr. 67). He
explained the steps and supplies involved. For instance, the
meth is cooked in a bottle (or reaction vessel) via a
chemical reaction triggered by fluids and the lithium removed
from batteries. During the violent reaction, sparks can be
observed in the reaction vessel and pressure builds up during
the process which must be released to avoid explosion. (Tr.
68, 110). He described how evidence of the supplies for each
step was recovered from the scene. He said it takes 1-1.5
hours to make a batch of meth. (Tr. 92). The batch recovered
was not fully ready for consumption as the meth powder had
not yet been extracted from the meth oil with one of the
hydrogen chloride gas generators he found. (Tr. 110). He
testified to lab results confirming the presence of 26.4
grams of methamphetamine in one of the reaction vessels. (Tr.
A detective testified a woman and her children were present
in the house when he and the sheriff arrived that night. (Tr.
57, 60). He presented evidence the woman had two children,
ages 15 and 16. (Tr. 57). He testified the house was within
100 feet of the garage, approximating it was 75 feet away. He
also said one could see into the garage from the house as
there was no garage door. (Tr. 58, 61). He explained there
were items, including bottles with tubes coming out of them,
"laying everywhere" which were observable upon
entering the garage (and were not solely in the back room).
William Cool testified he pled guilty to a drug charge
arising from this incident and was serving a four-year
sentence. He said Appellant was a friend he knew for many
years. He had been at Appellant's house since the day
before the police arrived as he was working on the stolen
truck. (Tr. 118). Cool claimed he promised Appellant meth for
helping him steal the truck. (Tr. 128). He disclosed he was
in the garage with ...