Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Koon

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Hocking

November 6, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRIAN KOON, Defendant-Appellant,

          Brian Koon, Madison County Correctional Institution, London, Ohio, pro se appellant

          Benjamin E. Fickel, Hocking County Prosecuting Attorney, and Jorden M. Meadows, Hocking County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Logan, Ohio, for appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          WILLIAM H. HARSHA, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Following his conviction for possession of heroin, Brian C. Koon filed a petition for postconviction relief relying on the Supreme Court of Ohio's decision in State v. Gonzales, 150 Ohio St.3d 261, 2016-Ohio-8319, 81 N.E.3d 405, to argue that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence and was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The trial court denied the petition.

         {¶2} Koon asserts that the trial court erred in denying the petition. We reject Koon's assertion because, as the trial court concluded, the Supreme Court of Ohio reconsidered and vacated its decision in Gonzales. Moreover, res judicata bars Koon from contesting the sufficiency or manifest weight of the evidence supporting his conviction. We overrule his assignment of error and affirm the judgment of the trial court denying his petition for postconviction relief.

         I. FACTS

          {¶3} The Hocking County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Brian C. Koon with one count of trafficking in heroin, one count of possession of heroin, and one count of endangering children. Koon pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the case proceeded to a jury trial.

         {¶4} The state introduced evidence that Koon had been a passenger in a vehicle that had rolled over several times and discharged many items from the inside. State troopers who arrived at the scene found a "loaded" syringe containing .403 grams of heroin, additional heroin weighing 19.452 grams, and other evidence of drug use located within the "debris field" left by the accident involving the vehicle. The troopers witnessed Koon diligently searching the field for the items thrown from the vehicle instead of attending to his injured 12-year-old son, who was lying on the pavement screaming in pain.

         {¶5} Koon acknowledged the ownership of the items that were lying in the debris field by telling a trooper that "his whole life was ruined and scattered on the ground." The troopers noticed a sticky brown substance on Koon's shirt that he claimed was mud or dirt from the accident, but which one of the troopers believed, based on his experience, was liquefied heroin.

         {¶6} The jury returned a verdict finding Koon guilty of possession of drugs and endangering children and acquitting him of the drug trafficking charge. For the drug possession charge, the jury returned a special verdict finding that Koon possessed 10 grams of heroin.

         {¶7} Following the trial Koon filed a motion for new trial, arguing that the jury's finding that he possessed 10 grams of heroin was not supported by sufficient evidence. He also filed a motion for acquittal contending that his conviction for endangering children was not supported by sufficient evidence. The trial court granted Koon's motion for acquittal on the endangering children charge, but denied his motion for new trial on the possession of heroin conviction.

         {¶8} After sentencing Koon appealed, arguing in part that his conviction for possession of heroin was not supported by sufficient evidence and was against the manifest weight of the evidence. He also claimed that the trial court erred by denying his motion for new trial. We rejected Koon's claims, finding that in considering the evidence in a light most favorable to the state, sufficient evidence supported the court's determination that the state introduced the essential elements of the crime of possession of heroin. State v. Koon, 4th Dist. Hocking No. 15CA17, 2016-Ohio-416, ¶ 24. We also found that the jury did not clearly lose its way or create a manifest miscarriage of justice. Id. We noted that the "state introduced evidence that the heroin found in the debris field exceeded 10 grams, so the jury's determination that Koon had constructive possession of 10 grams of the heroin was supported by the evidence." Id. at ¶ 23. "[T]he state introduced evidence from which the jury could have reasonably concluded that he possessed as much as 19 grams of the heroin recovered from the scene of the accident." Id. at ¶ 34.

         {¶9} The Supreme Court of Ohio did not accept Koon's discretionary appeal from our decision, State v. Koon, 146 Ohio St.3d 1416, 2016-Ohio-3390, 51 N.E.3d 660, and a federal district court dismissed his habeas corpus petition raising the same evidentiary issues. Koon v. Warden, Madison Corr. Inst, S.D. Ohio No. 2:16-CV-00950, 2017 WL 1106372 (Mar. 24, 2017).

          {¶10} In 2017, Koon filed a petition for postconviction relief that claimed that his conviction for possession of heroin should be vacated because based on the Supreme Court of Ohio's decision in State v. Gonzales,150 Ohio St.3d 261, 2016-Ohio-8319, 81 N.E.3d 405, it was not based on sufficient evidence and was against the manifest weight of the evidence. After the state filed a memorandum in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.