from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016CR0894
Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney By:
KATHLEEN O. TATARSKY Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Defendant-Appellant BRADLEY R. IAMS SAMUEL J. FERRUCCIO, JR.
JEFFRY V. SERRA
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E.
Wise, Jr., J.
1} Defendant-Appellant, Jonas L. Overton, appeals his
December 6, 2016 convictions and sentence in the Court of
Common Pleas of Stark County, Ohio. Plaintiff-Appellee is the
state of Ohio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} Appellant was under surveillance by the FBI Safe Streets
Task Force which focuses on narcotics investigations. For
several weeks, appellant was observed coming and going from
an apartment in Canton, Ohio. On May 9, 2016, Jackson
Township police officers and the FBI task force executed a
search warrant on the apartment. No one was inside the
apartment at the time. During the search, police discovered
drugs, a loaded firearm, a magazine for the firearm, and a
receipt with appellant's name on it. Later, appellant was
stopped and a key to the apartment was found in
3} On May 17, 2016, the Stark County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on two counts of possession of drugs (cocaine and
heroin) in violation of R.C. 2925.11 and one count of having
weapons under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13. The
weapons charge stemmed from a 2005 conviction for trafficking
4} During a pretrial held on October 20, 2016, defense
counsel made an oral motion to stipulate to appellant's
2005 conviction and exclude the presentation of any evidence
on the prior conviction. The trial court denied the
stipulation and motion, finding because the prior conviction
was an element of the weapons offense, the state would be
permitted to prove the element. The trial court agreed to
give the jury a limiting instruction on the use of the prior
5} On October 24, 2016, appellant filed a formal offer to
stipulate to being under disability and a motion in limine to
exclude evidence of the prior conviction for purposes of the
6} A jury trial commenced on October 31, 2016. Prior to
selecting the jury, the trial court again denied the
stipulation and motion and reiterated its decision to permit
the state to present evidence of appellant's prior
conviction. During trial, the state admitted into evidence a
copy of appellant's 2005 conviction, along with a copy of
the four-count, seven-page indictment which included several
offenses appellant was never convicted of. The jury found
appellant guilty as charged. By judgment entry filed December
6, 2016, the trial court sentenced appellant to an aggregate
term of six years in prison.
7} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before
this court for consideration. Assignments of error are as
8} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO ACCEPT MR.
OVERTON'S OFFER TO STIPULATE TO BEING UNDER DISABILITY
AND INSTEAD ADMITTING EVIDENCE OF HIS PREVIOUS CONVICTION AND
INDICTMENT, THE PROBATIVE VALUE OF WHICH WAS SUBSTANTIALLY
OUTWEIGHED BY THE DANGER OF UNFAIR PREJUDICE."
9} "MR. OVERTON WAS DENIED EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF
COUNSEL IF HIS OBJECTION TO HIS 1995 (SIC) CONVICTION AND
INDICTMENT WAS NOT PROPERLY MADE."
10} "THE JURY'S VERDICT WAS CONTRARY TO THE MANIFEST
WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT
EVIDENCE OF ...