from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney By:
RONALD MARK CALDWELL Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Appellate
Defendant-Appellant KRISTINA R. POWERS Stark County Public
JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B.
Hoffman, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Defendant-appellant Jay Everett Head appeals the denial by
the Stark County Court of Common Pleas of his Motion to
Suppress. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On June 30, 2016, the Stark County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on one count of illegal manufacture of drugs in
violation of R.C. 2925.04(A)(C)(3), a felony of the second
degree, and one count of illegal assembly or possession of
chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.041 (A), a felony of the third degree. At his
arraignment on August 19, 2016, appellant entered a plea of
not guilty to the charges.
Appellant, on September 7, 2016, filed a Motion to Suppress,
seeking to suppress any evidence found as a result of the
alleged illegal search of his home. A hearing on the motion
was held on October 13, 2016.
At the hearing, Officer Brian Duman of the Uniontown Police
Department testified that he was in uniform in a cruiser on
May 15, 2016 at approximately 3:30 a.m. when he received a
call that sent him to 2488 Edison Street Northwest in
Uniontown. The Police Department had received a call from a
couple of neighbors saying that they had observed multiple
subjects with flashlights inside the home, which they
indicated was vacant because the current owner was deceased.
Chief Britt, who arrived at the house seconds after the call,
arrived at the house about a minute before Officer Duman.
They also called for an additional unit from Hartville.
Officer Duman testified that when he arrived, Chief Britt was
attempting to get appellant, who appeared in the kitchen
window, to leave the house. He testified that appellant
walked outside through a side door and was detained until the
Hartville unit arrived. During such time, appellant was asked
if anyone else was in the house and told the officers that
there might be. According to Officer Duman, Chief Britt and
an officer from the Hartville Police Department then went
inside to do a protective sweep in an attempt to locate
additional subjects in the house. Appellant told Officer
Duman that someone might be in the attic and the attic was
checked and found to be empty. While checking the basement,
both officers identified a possible methamphetamine
laboratory that was either functioning or in the process of
being fully assembled. The house had electricity and at least
partially functioning plumbing. No other individuals were
located inside the house.
When asked if appellant had told any of the officers that
they could not go inside the house to look for the additional
suspects, Officer Duman indicated that appellant had not. He
testified that because the house was in such poor condition,
it would have been very difficult to determine if there was
any forced entry. He did not recall appellant having a key to
the house on him. The following testimony was adduced when
Officer Duman was asked if there was any indication that the
house was appellant's house:
A: He had the address for that home on his driver's
license; however, he hadn't occupied it in several years
as far as I'm aware. I had never seen him at that home
personally. I was aware of the fact that the owner of the
home had passed away and that there was some sort of civil
proceeding involving the state of that home, but I didn't
know anything further at the time. It just was a vacant home
as far as I was concerned in my normal patrol duties.
Q: Explain to me ...