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State v. Graggs

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 22, 2017

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
John Q. Graggs, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas No. 08CR-1098

         On brief:

          Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Kimberly M. Bond, for appellee.

          John Q. Graggs, pro se.

          DECISION

          HORTON, J.

         {¶ 1} John Q. Graggs appeals from the decision of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denying his motion for a new trial under Crim.R. 33. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         {¶ 2} A jury found Graggs guilty of aggravated robbery under R.C. 2911.01, kidnapping under R.C. 2911.01, and aggravated murder under R.C. 2903.01. The trial court imposed a life sentence without parole. (Mar. 3, 2009 Final Jgmt. Entry.)

         {¶ 3} We incorporate here the facts leading to Graggs' conviction as recounted in the original appeal:

The charges in this case arise out of the shooting death of Fred Brock, also known as "Food Stamp Freddie" ("Brock") that occurred on January 8, 2008. The following description of events surrounding Brock's death were adduced at trial.
Marcus Jones ("Marcus") had been living at 3566 East Main Street, Apartment B-11, for about three months prior to Brock's death. According to Marcus, he and his friend Jessie Lanier ("Lanier") sold cocaine out of this apartment. Marcus testified they sold bricks of cocaine for $ 28, 000 a piece. Brock was a friend of Lanier's that met Marcus about three days prior to the shooting. Essentially, Brock was hired to "stay in the house and pretty much make sure no one came in the house and took the money and the drugs." (Tr. 351.)
On January 8, 2008, Marcus picked up his cousin, Dominic Jones ("Dominic"), and they went to a local high school basketball game. When Marcus left, Brock was on the couch watching television and Lanier was in the bathroom. While at the basketball game, Marcus saw Lanier arrive at the game alone. After the game, Marcus and Dominic went to the home of Marcus's father, Marvin Jones ("Marvin"), and began watching a movie. After being at Marvin's for approximately 15 minutes, Marcus got a telephone call from Lanier telling Marcus to come to the apartment. When Marcus and Dominic arrived at the apartment, Lanier was not there, but Lanier and a girl arrived about two minutes later. The three men entered the apartment where Brock was lying face down on the floor, handcuffed and shot.
Marcus testified he never touched the body, but he was scared and he, Dominic, and Lanier began to clear the apartment of drug paraphernalia and things related to the drug operation, including scales and $ 17, 000 in cash. After taking several loads of items to Lanier's vehicle, Lanier left the complex. Marcus and Dominic then left the apartment and went to the Barnett Recreation Center where they called Marvin. According to Marvin, about 15 minutes had passed from when Marcus and Dominic left his house and made the call. Marvin told Marcus to call the police, and the three men proceeded to the apartment complex. Marvin went into the apartment with Dominic while Marcus called 911 from the hallway.
Just as the dispatch was ending, Whitehall Police Officer Eric Hollyfield pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex and observed a man waving "frantically" to him. (Tr. 35.) As Officer Hollyfield entered the building, two other men directed him to Apartment B-11. Upon entering the apartment, Officer Hollyfield observed the victim lying face down on the floor. There was blood on the victim's back, and his hands were handcuffed behind his back. After clearing the room, Officer Hollyfield checked for a pulse and called for medics. According to Officer Hollyfield, the entire ...

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