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State v. Burnett

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

August 28, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHRIS BURNETT Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015CR1295A

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: JOHN D. FERRERO, JR. STARK CO. PROSECUTOR KRISTINE W. BEARD

          For Defendant-Appellant: CHRIS BURNETT, PRO SE Mansfield Correctional Inst.

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J., Hon. John W. Wise, J., Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Chris Burnett appeals from the March 21, 2017 Judgment Entry of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas denying his petition for post-conviction relief. Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶1} This case arose from the shooting of Cleave "Archie" Johnson ("Archie") and Albert Magee, resulting in Archie's death and serious injury to Magee. Appellant was indicted along with three co-defendants: Calvin Johnson, Sade Edwards, and Corey Campbell. The following facts are adduced from the record of appellant's jury trial and are relevant to the claims raised in the instant appeal.

         {¶2} Magee knew Johnson for many years. In 2015, a dispute arose between Johnson and Magee's son.

         {¶3} On August 10, 2015, Edwards drove appellant, Johnson, and Campbell around Alliance, where Archie and Magee happened to be drinking beer in front of Archie's house. Magee noticed the Edwards vehicle drive by. Johnson told Edwards to pull over around the corner and stop so he could "holler" at someone. Edwards stopped near a yard with a boat parked in it. Appellant and Johnson got out of the car and walked down an alley toward Archie's house; Campbell got out of the car but stayed behind to "take a leak."

         {¶4} Magee observed two men come down the alley brandishing firearms: appellant and Johnson. Magee testified appellant smiled at him and fired two to three times. Magee was struck in the leg and tried to crawl toward his car. He saw Archie fall to the ground. Magee also saw Campbell running up a hill behind the house, and heard one of the shooters yell, "This is how we do it in Chicago, [expletive]. Chicago style." He also heard someone say "Come on man come this way [expletive] hurry up." Magee crawled to a nearby house for help.

         {¶5} Appellant, Johnson, and Campbell ran to Edwards' car and left for appellant's home in Akron. As they drove, Edwards' mother called and said Magee had been shot and Edwards' car had been spotted near the scene. Edwards discerned the shooting was the result of the "beef" between Johnson and Magee, and heard Johnson say to appellant, "Cuz, why did you start shooting so fast? I thought we were going to get closer." Edwards also heard Johnson mention returning to the scene to get their "poles" (guns). Appellant and Johnson discussed throwing the guns under a porch into a hole and said they should have thrown them into the boat. After Edwards dropped the men off, Johnson called and asked her to take them back to Alliance to get their "poles."

         {¶6} In the meantime, Alliance police responded to the scene for shots fired and found Magee, who immediately identified Calvin Johnson as one of the shooters and said the other was an unknown man with "dreads." Archie was unresponsive, lying in a fetal position on the front walk. Both victims were transported to the hospital. Archie died several days later from a gunshot wound to the head. Magee's right femur was shattered and required surgery.

         {¶7} While in the hospital, investigators showed Magee Facebook photos of appellant and Johnson. Appellant was shown in the photo with "dreads, " described by Magee as a braided "wild" hairstyle. Magee identified appellant and Johnson as the shooters and Edwards as the driver of the car, a silver Pontiac Grand Am.

         {¶8} Investigators found the silver Grand Am outside Edwards' residence when they arrived to question her; she admitted she drove appellant, Johnson, and Campbell around Alliance, and that appellant and Johnson were involved in the shooting. She took police to the location where appellant and Johnson threw their guns, in the yard of the house with a boat. Police recovered a Hi-Point magazine, a .9 millimeter Hi-Point handgun, and an SCCY .9 millimeter handgun from under the front porch. The Hi-Point magazine fit inside the Hi-Point firearm. The SCCY magazine was empty and the gun had a .9 millimeter Luger round in the chamber.

         {¶9} At the scene of the shootings, police had recovered Hi-Point shell casings ...


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