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State v. Johnson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Williams

October 27, 2017

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Gregory E. Johnson Appellant

         Trial Court No. TRD 1700106

          Rhonda L. Fisher, Bryan City Attorney, for appellee.

          Paul H. Duggan, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          JENSEN, P.J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Gregory Johnson, appeals the judgment of the Bryan Municipal Court, finding him guilty of operating his motor vehicle in excess of the speed limit following a trial to the bench and ordering appellant to pay a fine of $45 plus court costs. We affirm.

         A. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} On January 6, 2017, Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Allison Kindler observed appellant operating his Ford pickup truck on State Route 15 in the city of Bryan, Ohio. According to Kindler's radar, appellant was traveling at a speed of 67 m.p.h. at the time. The posted speed limit along State Route 15 is 55 m.p.h. Kindler proceeded to initiate a traffic stop and appellant was cited for operating his motor vehicle in excess of the speed limit in violation of R.C. 4511.21(D)(1), a minor misdemeanor.

         {¶ 3} Following pretrial proceedings, a trial before the bench was scheduled to occur on March 2, 2017. On February 16, 2017, appellant's counsel sought a continuance of the trial by filing a "motion to continue and convert trial to pretrial, " due to a conflict with another matter pending before the Williams County Court of Common Pleas. Although the trial court had previously granted continuances in this case (one continuance requested by the state and one continuance requested by appellant), the court denied this motion on February 27, 2017. Two days later, appellant's counsel filed a "second motion to continue and convert trial to pretrial, " once again asserting the scheduling conflict as the basis for the motion. This time, appellant's counsel provided more detail as to the nature of the scheduling conflict, stating:

[T]he undersigned is scheduled to participate in a pretrial in State v. Buchs. This is a twenty-five count indictment including felonies of the first and second degree. The case at bar is a minor misdemeanor. * * * An assistant attorney from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, L.M. Powers, is traveling from Cleveland for this pretrial.

         On March 1, 2017, the trial court denied the second request for a continuance.

         {¶ 4} The next day, appellant appeared before the court for trial without counsel. The state called Trooper Kindler as its only witness.[1] She testified that she measured appellant's speed at 67 m.p.h. with her radar, which she indicated had been recently calibrated according to the device's requirements. Kindler testified that the radar's speed reading was consistent with her visual estimation of appellant's speed.

         {¶ 5} At the conclusion of the trial, appellant was found guilty of operating his vehicle in excess of the speed limit, and the trial court ordered appellant to pay a $45 fine and court costs of $167.40. Appellant then entered a timely notice of appeal.

         B. ...


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