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State v. Cassidy

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Allen

October 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROBERT K. CASSIDY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Allen County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CR 2016 0193.

          Michael J. Short for Appellant

          Jana E. Emerick for Appellee

          OPINION

          PRESTON, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Robert K. Cassidy ("Cassidy"), appeals the January 25, 2017 judgment entry of sentence of the Allen County Court of Common Pleas. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} This case stems from an incident that took place in Lima, Ohio on April 6, 2016. Ryan Plaugher ("Plaugher") arrived at a carry-out grocery store to purchase baby formula in accordance with an agreement reached via the social networking site Facebook. After approaching a vehicle in the store's parking lot and determining that its occupants had the items he agreed to purchase, Plaugher gave Cassidy, the vehicle's driver, $30.00. Cassidy then produced a firearm and pointed it at Plaugher. Plaugher backed away from the vehicle before Cassidy quickly fled the scene in his vehicle.

         {¶3} On June 16, 2016, the Allen County Grand Jury indicted Cassidy on Count One of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), (C), a felony of the first degree and Count Two of having weapons while under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2), (B), a felony of the third degree. (Doc. No. 3). Count One included a firearm specification under R.C. 2941.145(A) alleging that Cassidy had a firearm on or about his person or under his control while committing aggravated robbery and displayed, brandished, or indicated that he possessed the firearm or used it to facilitate the offense. (Id.). Count One also included a repeat violent offender ("RVO") specification under R.C. 2941.149(A) alleging that Cassidy was convicted of or pled guilty to aggravated robbery in May of 2007. (Id.). Count Two included the same firearm specification that Count One includes. (Id.).

         {¶4} Cassidy appeared for arraignment on June 27, 2016, and pled not guilty to the counts and specifications in the indictment. (Doc. No. 13).

         {¶5} A jury trial took place from November 28 to December 1, 2016. (Doc. Nos. 130, 131, 132). The jury found Cassidy guilty of Counts One and Two as well as the firearm specification included in Counts One and Two. (Nov. 28, 2016 Tr. at 714-716). The trial court held a hearing on sentencing and on the RVO specification on January 19, 2017 at which it found Cassidy guilty as to the RVO specification included in Count One. (Jan. 19, 2017 Tr. at 47). The trial court sentenced Cassidy to eleven years in prison as to Count One and one year in prison as to Count Two. (Id. at 78-79). The trial court further sentenced Cassidy to two years in prison as to the RVO specification and three years in prison as to each of the two firearm specifications. (Id.). The trial court ordered that all sentences be served consecutively for a total of 20 years of incarceration. (Id.). The trial court filed its judgment entry of sentence on January 25, 2017. (Doc. No. 110).

         {¶6} Cassidy filed his notice of appeal on January 26, 2017. (Doc. No. 114). He brings three assignments of error for our review.

         Assignment of Error No. I

The Convictions Are Not Supported By The Weight Of The Evidence.

         {¶7} In his first assignment of error, Cassidy argues that his convictions for aggravated robbery and for having a weapon while under disability are against the manifest weight of the evidence. Specifically, Cassidy argues that the trier of fact lost its way in convicting him of those offenses because there is inconsistent testimony as to whether Cassidy possessed a firearm during the incident. Cassidy further argues that his conviction is against the manifest weight of the evidence because there is no physical evidence linking him to the firearm.

         {¶8} In determining whether a conviction is against the manifest weight of the evidence, a reviewing court must examine the entire record, "'weigh[ ] the evidence and all reasonable inferences, consider[ ] the credibility of witnesses and determine[ ] whether in resolving conflicts in the evidence, the [trier of fact] clearly lost its way and created such a manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered.'" State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 387 (1997), quoting State v. Martin, 20 Ohio App.3d 172, 175 (1st Dist.1983). A reviewing court must, however, allow the trier of fact appropriate discretion on matters relating to the weight of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. State v. DeHass, 10 Ohio St.2d 230, 231 (1967). When applying the manifest-weight standard, "[o]nly in exceptional cases, where the evidence 'weighs heavily against the ...


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