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State v. Crosby

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

October 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
DONZELLE CROSBY Appellant

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 11CR082579

          DONZELLE CROSBY, Appellant, pro se.

          DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          CALLAHAN, JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, Donzelle Crosby, appeals from the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas which denied his petition for post-conviction relief. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} The facts and initial procedural history of this case were set out in Mr. Crosby's direct appeal. See State v. Crosby, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 15CA010724, 2015-Ohio-5176, ¶ 2-3. Mr. Crosby appealed from his convictions arguing that his convictions were based on insufficient evidence and against the manifest weight of the evidence because of contradictions in the testimony of the witnesses, because his trial counsel were ineffective for failing to object to Bruton evidence, hearsay evidence, and witness bolstering, and because the court erred in not ordering a new competency evaluation. Id. at ¶ 4, 7, 13, 21-23, 25. This Court overruled Mr. Crosby's assignments of error and affirmed his convictions. Id. at ¶ 29.

         {¶3} On March 16, 2016, Mr. Crosby filed a petition in the trial court to vacate or set aside his convictions, in which he argued that attorney Jack Bradley was ineffective when he terminated his representation of Mr. Crosby to represent a co-defendant, who ultimately testified against Mr. Crosby. He also argued that his trial counsel were ineffective in not raising Mr. Bradley's alleged conflict, the State of Ohio denied him due process (or alternatively committed prosecutorial misconduct) when it entered into a plea bargain with the co-defendant and allowed him to testify, and the trial court denied him the right to effective assistance of counsel when it failed to order a hearing on the "sufficiently apparent" conflict.

         {¶4} The trial court denied Mr. Crosby's petition in a one paragraph journal entry dated August 23, 2016. Mr. Crosby filed a notice of appeal from this entry, and he now presents the four identical issues raised in his post-conviction petition as assignments of error for this Court's review. The assignments of error have been consolidated to facilitate this Court's discussion.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

         ATTORNEY JACK BRADLEY COMMITTED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WHEN HE TERMINATED REPRESENTATION WITH [MR. CROSBY], A CURRENT CLIENT, TO REPRESENT JEREMY BROWN, A CO-DEFENDANT (NEVER REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY BRADLEY) IN THIS AGGRAVATED MURDER PROSECUTION. JEREMY BROWN WAS ONE OF THE PRIMARY EVIDENTIARY WITNESSES AGAINST [MR. CROSBY].

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR II

         TRIAL COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE WHEN IT FAILED TO RAISE THE ISSUE OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WHEN FACED WITH JEREMY ...


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