from Mercer County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
Richard M. Delzeith for Appellant
Matthew K. Fox and Joshua A. Muhlenkamp for Appellee
Defendant-appellant, Casey Atkins ("Atkins")
appeals the judgment and sentence of the Mercer County Common
Pleas Court wherein he was found guilty of one count of
Robbery in violation of 2911.02(A)(3) by R.C. 2911.02(B), a
felony of the third degree, and one count of Theft in
violation of 2913.02(A)(1) and 2913.02(B)(2), a felony of the
and Procedural History
On November 17, 2016, Atkins was indicted on two criminal
counts in Mercer County: Count One, Robbery, in violation of
R.C. 2911.02(A)(3) by R.C. 2911.02(B), a felony of the third
degree; and Count Two, Theft, in violation of R.C.
2913.02(A)(1) and (B)(2), a felony of the fifth degree. The
charges stem from a bank robbery that occurred at the Second
National Bank in Celina, Ohio on September 23, 2016. Atkins
pled not guilty to each count on November 28, 2016.
On January 18-19, 2017, the case proceeded to a trial to the
court. At trial the State called ten (10) witnesses. However,
only the testimonies of the following witnesses are relevant
in our appellate review as the appellant has only appealed
the trial court's verdict on his robbery conviction:
Allison Byron ("Byron"), the bank teller at Second
National Bank; Atkins' two co-defendants, Timothy Rios
("Rios") and Joshuia Bursey ("Bursey");
and Detective Ron Waltmire ("Detective Waltmire"),
with the Celina Police Department.
At the conclusion of the State's case in chief, defense
counsel made a Criminal Rule 29 motion for acquittal arguing
that the State failed to prove all of the elements of
robbery. The trial court overruled the Rule 29 motion and
Atkins did not present a defense thereafter.
The trial court found Atkins guilty of Robbery and Theft and
sentenced him to thirty months in prison. On March 22,
2017, the trial court filed its judgment entry memorializing
Atkins' sentence. It is from this judgment that Atkins
appeals, asserting the following assignment of error for our
STATE FAILED TO INTRODUCE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF THE CHARGE
OF ROBBERY, A RESULTING CONVICTION IS AGAINST THE MANIFEST
WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND DEPRIVED THE DEFENDANT OF
SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS IN VIOLATION OF THE
FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES
In his sole assignment of error, Atkins argues that his
conviction for robbery was not supported by sufficient
evidence and is against the manifest weight of the
evidence. Specifically, Atkins contends that the element of
"force" was not proven by the State to satisfy that
particular element of robbery. Because we apply different
standards of review for sufficiency and manifest weight of
the evidence, we will discuss those standards separately.
However, we will analyze appellant's arguments together.
We note that the trial court found the theft and robbery
convictions were merged. Atkins does not contest his
conviction and sentence for Theft under Count Two, so we will
just review the evidence as it relates to his Robbery
When reviewing a case to determine whether the record
contains sufficient evidence to support a conviction, our
role "is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to
determine whether such evidence, if believed, would convince
the average mind of the defendant's guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt. The relevant inquiry is whether, after
viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the
prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the
essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable
doubt". State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, at
paragraph two of the syllabus.
The claim of insufficient evidence raises a question of law
and does not allow the court to weigh the evidence. State
v. Martin, 20 Ohio App.3d 172, 175. Thus, this standard
"gives full play to the responsibility of the trier of
fact * * * to resolve conflicts in the testimony, to weigh
the evidence, and to draw reasonable inferences from basic
facts to ultimate facts". Jackson v. Virginia,
443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979). Accordingly, the weight given to
the evidence and the credibility of witnesses are issues for
the trier of fact. State v. Thomas, 70 Ohio St.2d
79, 79-80 (1982), State v. DeHass, 10 Ohio St.2d 230
When determining whether a conviction is against the manifest
weight of the evidence, we "will not reverse a
conviction where there is substantial evidence upon which the
court could reasonably conclude that all the elements of an
offense have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt".
State v. Eskridge, 38 Ohio St.3d 56 (1988), at
paragraph two of the syllabus.
In reviewing whether the trial court's judgment was
against the weight of the evidence, the appellate court sits
as the "thirteenth juror" and examines the
conflicting testimony. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio
St.3d 380, 387. In taking on this role, this court, reviewing
the entire record, weighs the evidence and all reasonable
inferences, considers the credibility of witnesses and
determines whether, in reviewing the evidence, the trial
court clearly lost its way and created such a manifest
miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed.
Id. In making this analysis, we must be mindful that
determinations of credibility and weight of the testimony
remain within the jurisdiction of the trier of fact.
DeHass, supra, paragraph one of the syllabus.
When applying the manifest weight standard, "[o]nly in
exceptional cases, where the evidence 'weighs heavily
against the conviction', should an appellate court
overturn the trial court's judgment." State v.
Haller, 3d Dist. Allen No. 1-11-34, 2012-Ohio-5233,
¶9, quoting State v. Hunter, 131 Ohio St.3d 67,
2011-Ohio-6524, ¶119. "Weight of the evidence
concerns 'the inclination of the greater amount of
credible evidence, offered in a trial, to support one side of
the issue rather than the other. It indicates clearly to the
jury that the party having the burden of proof will be
entitled to their verdict, if, on weighing the evidence in
their minds, they shall find the greater amount of credible
evidence sustains the issue which is to be established before
them. Weight is not a question of mathematics, but depends on
its effect in inducing belief.' " (Emphasis
omitted.) Thompkins, quoting Black's Law
Dictionary 1594 (6th Ed.1990).
In this case, Atkins was indicted for Robbery in violation of
R.C. 2911.02(A)(3) which reads:
(A) No person, in attempting or committing a theft
offense or in fleeing immediately after the attempt or
offense, shall do ...