Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Drummond v. Jenkins

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 19, 2017

JOHN DRUMMOND, Petitioner,
CHARLOTTE JENKINS, Warden Respondent.


          ORDER (DOC. NO. 30.)

          Jonathan D. Greenberg United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the magistrate judge pursuant to Local Rule 72.2. Before the Court is the Petition of John Drummond (“Drummond” or “Petitioner”), for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Currently pending is Drummond's second “Motion to Stay Briefing and to Hold Case in Abeyance.” (Doc. No. 30.) Respondent filed a Brief in Opposition (Doc. No. 33). For the following reasons, Drummond's motion is DENIED.

         I. Summary of Facts

         Drummond's habeas petition challenges the constitutionality of his conviction and sentence for aggravated murder in the case of State v. Drummond, Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas Case No. 2013 CR 0068. The state appellate court summarized the facts underlying Drummond's conviction as follows:

{¶ 2} This incident occurred in February 1997. It remained a cold case for almost 16 years. Appellant was ultimately indicted by the Ashtabula County Grand Jury on January 31, 2013 on four counts: count one, aggravated murder, an unclassified felony, in violation of R.C. 2903.01(A); count two, aggravated murder, an unclassified felony, in violation of R.C. 2903.01(B); count three, kidnapping, a felony of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(3); and count four, felonious assault, a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2). All four counts contained firearm specifications. Appellant pleaded not guilty to all charges.
{¶ 3} Appellant filed a motion to dismiss count four, felonious assault, because it exceeded the six year statute of limitations under R.C. 2901.13(A)(1)(a). Appellee, the state of Ohio, agreed. The trial court granted appellant's motion and dismissed count four. Appellant later filed another motion to dismiss based upon pre-indictment delay. The state disagreed maintaining that appellant did not suffer actual prejudice. Following a hearing, the trial court denied appellant's motion.
{¶ 4} A jury trial commenced on August 21, 2013. The main crux of the case centered around the following question: Who was responsible for firing the fatal shots on the night at issue? The answer to this question was based upon testimony which was not available to the state at the time the crime was committed. The main witnesses against appellant were his co-defendants. Their testimony did not become available until years later.
{¶ 5} Thirteen witnesses testified for the state. They collectively established that appellant travelled from Youngstown to Ashtabula with Jones, Jawann Evans, and Eric Weaver after learning that $10, 000 was stolen from Jones. The men suspected that either the victim [Ronald Maceo Hull] or Damon Young committed the theft.
{¶ 6} After locating the victim at the West 38th Street apartments, the victim was beaten, pistol-whipped, shot in the buttocks, and fatally shot with a 9mm handgun. The evidence presented included a total of four weapons: (1) a .40 caliber handgun (possessed by Young); (2) a .357 caliber handgun, which was broken (possessed by George “Lenny” Church); (3) a 9mm handgun, which was different than the one that killed the victim (possessed by Evans and shot into the victim's buttocks by Evans); and (4) a 9mm handgun, which killed the victim (possessed by appellant). Appellant was standing over the victim when the victim was fatally shot. The following additional details were adduced at trial:
{¶ 7} On the night of the incident, Lisa Harris was at the West 38th Street apartments babysitting for the children of her niece, Saudi Payne. Payne was dating Jones at the time. Jones had left $10, 000 in Payne's apartment. Harris testified she saw Jones, Evans, Church, Stephen Boles, and the victim inside Payne's apartment. Harris stated the victim walked past her with his head down and did not speak to her even though she was friendly with him.
{¶ 8} Monique Robinson lived next door to Payne and was first cousins with the victim. Robinson testified that on the night in question, Payne told her that someone had stolen Jones' money from Payne's apartment. And Payne believed the victim committed the theft. Robinson attempted to call the victim after Church and Boles asked her if she knew his whereabouts. She was unable to reach him. Payne later informed Boles and Church that $10, 000 of Jones' money was stolen; she also informed the men of her suspicion that the victim took the money. Boles and Church began searching for the victim. After no success, the two men returned to Payne's apartment.
{¶ 9} The victim ultimately showed up at the apartment on his own and denied taking Jones' money. When Robinson looked inside Payne's apartment, she saw Payne and Boles. Robinson additionally observed Jones standing over the victim demanding to know where his money was. Robinson further witnessed appellant and Evans arrive at the apartment. Both men were holding guns. She also observed Church, who was brandishing a firearm, as well as the victim, who was sitting in a chair. At that time, the door closed and Robinson heard a gunshot.
{¶ 10} Inside the apartment, Jones confronted the victim, demanded his money, hit the victim, and shot a gun into the floor. Church testified that Jones was screaming at the victim about the stolen money and a shot was fired inside the apartment. Church saw Jones with a gun after he heard the shot ring out. Church also saw Jones fire a shot into the ground inside the apartment. The victim claimed he did not steal Jones' money and that, instead, the men should look for Young.
{¶ 11} Boles and Church subsequently went looking for Young while the others stayed with the victim. The two men found Young and brought him back to the apartment. An argument ensued between Young and the victim regarding who had stolen the money. During the argument, a shot was fired and the victim was shot in the buttocks. Boles observed Evans brandishing his firearm. The men then took the victim and Young outside where they argued with each other over who had stolen the money. Young and Church struck the victim. Church, Evans, Weaver, Jones, and appellant then proceeded to beat the victim. During the fight, Church struck the victim with a revolver. The blow broke the gun open.
{¶ 12} After the beating, everyone, with the exception of appellant, walked away from the victim. Church heard a shot. He turned around and observed the victim on the ground with his arm raised and appellant standing over him. Church then heard two more shots. Church stated appellant was in possession of a 9mm handgun. Church stated the last person he saw near the victim was appellant.
{¶ 13} Boles, who was a friend of the victim, subsequently disguised his voice and called the police. Boles did not want any of the men, including appellant, to know he had made the call because he feared that they might kill him. Boles stated that their group of friends had rules, which included severe repercussions for “snitching, ” including death. Also, Church indicated that one of the rules of “the group” was that no one was allowed to steal from any other member or cooperate in any manner with the police.
{¶ 14} Renee Powell was the victim's girlfriend. Powell testified she had plans to meet the victim at Sardi's Bar, a local establishment. Powell was waiting for the victim at the bar when she heard the news that he had been killed. She later found him lying dead in front of the apartment building. Powell stated she saw Boles, who appeared visibly upset.
{¶ 15} Young testified he was home with his girlfriend when Boles and Church located him. Boles and Church advised Young that he had to go with them. Young felt like he had no choice but to comply. At Payne's apartment, Young saw appellant with a 9mm handgun. Young said some other men also had guns and they were all accusing him and the victim of taking Jones' money. Young testified that all of the co-defendants, including appellant, were working as a group. According to Young, Church informed the group that they would take Young and the victim to the freeway and kill them. Young was afraid of all the men, including appellant, and believed he was going to be killed.
{¶ 16} According to Young, as the men exited the apartment, the victim accused Young of committing a different robbery and the two men began fighting. During the altercation, Young heard Evans say something about the stolen money and then a gunshot went off. Young saw that the victim had been shot. Young indicated that Weaver and Church began to pistol whip him as well as the victim. Church's gun broke during the pistol whipping.
{¶ 17} Young stated that Church pulled him to a car while the victim remained on the ground. Young then heard multiple gunshots. Young saw Church, Evans, and appellant run towards the front of the apartment building. Young testified appellant was in closest proximity to the victim. Young ran away from the scene and returned to his home. Young talked with the police two weeks after the murder and again in 2003 and 2006.
{¶ 18} Following the incident, Patrolman William Parkomaki and Sergeant Rick Featsent with the Ashtabula City Police Department (“ACPD”) received a dispatch that shots had been fired in the West 38th Street area. Patrolman Parkomaki found the victim outside the apartment building near some bushes. He then radioed for back-up assistance.
{¶ 19} Detective James Oatman, of the ACPD, executed a search warrant at the apartment where the victim was taken and held prior to his murder. Various items were collected, including a piece of carpet with a blood spot, a stocking cap, a shell casing, and a bullet slug fired into the floor. Detective Oatman videotaped and photographed a walkthrough of the apartment. David Clemens was the evidence officer with the ACPD. Clemens testified that when he retired in 2003, all the evidence in the case, which included the foregoing items, was stored in an evidence room.
{¶ 20} Detective George Taylor Cleveland joined the ACPD two years after this incident occurred. He took over the cold case investigation after the lead detective, Robert Pouska retired. Detective Cleveland re-interviewed witnesses and tried to locate new ones. He later joined the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Department (“ACSD”), but kept working on this case. Detective Cleveland testified that all blood evidence collected had been tested by the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office (“CCCO”). In the early 2000s, he was unsuccessful in uncovering any new evidence.
{¶ 21} In 2008, Detective Cleveland opened up the investigation again. A cigarette butt from the scene was re-tested. It had two different profiles on it. One belonged to the victim and the other to Tracey Trent, a person with no connection to the murder. The bullets from the victim's body and the shell casings from the scene were also tested. The slugs from the body were determined to be 9mm; two of the bullets were fired from the same weapon, and the third from a different weapon. The slug from the floor of the apartment was also tested.
{¶ 22} The testing revealed that four weapons of three different calibers were involved in this crime. They included the two 9mm handguns involved in shooting the victim, the .357 live round from the ground, and the .40 caliber from the apartment floor. Detective Cleveland testified, however, that the following evidence was no longer in law enforcement's custody: the piece of carpet; the .40 caliber slug; blood swabs from the grass, sidewalk, and screen door; the spent 9mm shell casings; control swabs; various photographs of the crime scene; the slugs from the victim's body; and the cigarette.
{¶ 23} Dr. Cristen Rolf performed the autopsy on the victim in February 1997. Dr. Rolf testified that the victim sustained injuries to his body that were consistent with a person that had been beaten in a fight. He suffered a blunt injury to the back of his head. The victim also suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his left arm/hand, neck, and both hips. The fatal wound was to the neck area.
{¶ 24} Appellant presented one witness. Dr. Nasir Butt was the DNA technical manager with the CCCO at the time the items were tested. Dr. Butt performed a DNA analysis of the cigarette butt which, as stated, had a major and minor contributor mixture. The major contributor was consistent with the victim. The minor contributor came back to Trent. Dr. Butt testified that the blood on the cigarette came from the victim and that Trent's DNA was found on the filter because Trent was the one that had smoked the cigarette.
{¶ 25} Following trial, the jury found appellant guilty on the second count of aggravated murder involving the commission of a felony, the count of kidnapping, and the firearm specifications. The jury, however, found appellant not guilty on the first count of aggravated murder involving prior calculation and design. On August 30, 2013, the trial court sentenced appellant to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 23 years.

State v. Drummond, 31 N.E.3d (Ohio App. 11th Dist. March 16, 2015) (emphasis added).

         II. Procedural History

         A. State ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.