Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Leigh S. Prugh
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor Adam M. Chaloupka Assistant County
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Kilbane, P.J., and Stewart, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, J.
Deondre M. Bridgett ("Bridgett") appeals from his
conviction for receiving stolen property. He assigns the
following errors for our review:
I. The trial court erred in denying Bridgett's Crim.R.
29(A) motion for acquittal in the face of insufficient
evidence to prove guilt of the offense of receiving stolen
property beyond a reasonable doubt.
II. The trial court erred in sentencing Bridgett for a crime
for which he was acquitted.
Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the
conviction and eighteen-month sentence for receiving stolen
property, but we remand for nunc pro tunc correction of the
sentencing entry to delete the "on each count"
reference that appears to be a clerical error. The apposite
In June 2016, Bridgett and codefendant Darren Allen were
indicted for receiving a stolen motor vehicle, a
fourth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), and
possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony, in
violation of R.C. 2923.24(A). Both counts contained
forfeiture specifications pertaining to screwdrivers found in
the car. Bridgett pled not guilty and waived his right to a
jury trial. The matter proceeded to trial on September 20,
The state's evidence indicated that at around 11:00 p.m.
on June 19, 2016, Park Rangers Aaron Coleman and Tim Garris
were on uniform patrol in Heritage Park, near Merwin Avenue
and West Road, observing the crowd following game seven of
the NBA finals. The officers observed three individuals get
out of a Jeep. As they walked along, they used flashlights to
look inside parked cars. Ranger Garris looked inside the Jeep
and observed a t-shirt was wrapped around the steering
column, which was "all torn apart, " and
"destroyed all around it." Screwdrivers were inside
the car. Ranger Garris testified that it is "pretty
common" to wrap a steering column in that manner
"when a vehicle has been stolen and the ignition's
been popped." The rangers testified without objection
that they ran a LEADS check on the vehicle and determined
that it had been reported stolen from Cleveland approximately
two days earlier. On questioning from the defense, Ranger
Garris further stated that he then "called Cleveland and
confirmed that it was a stolen vehicle."
The rangers stated that they did not expect the men to return
to the Jeep since they had been spotted by police, so they
advised their supervisors to be on the alert for the men and
continued to observe the crowd in the area. The rangers
planned to tow the Jeep and contact the owner at the end of
Approximately fifteen minutes later, the rangers observed the
men walking back toward the Jeep. Bridgett repeatedly used
his cell phone to block his face as he and Allen returned to
the Jeep, but the third man ran off as the rangers approached
to initiate a traffic stop. According to Ranger Coleman,
Bridgett was apprehended as he returned to the rear passenger
seat of the vehicle. He was "pushing off, twisting and
turning, " but then complied with their commands.
The rangers determined that Bridgett lived on the same street
as the owner of the vehicle that had been reported stolen.
Allen told the rangers that he and Bridgett were retrieving
their cell phones that were charging inside the Jeep. He had
a screwdriver in the waistband of his pants. Two other
screwdrivers, including a broken screwdriver and its tip,
were located in the front passenger seat. Bridgett had three
cell phones in his pockets and a third cell phone was on the
back seat. Other cell phones were charging inside the
The trial court subsequently denied Bridgett's motion for
acquittal and found him guilty of receiving stolen property
and the forfeiture specification, but not guilty of
possession of criminal tools. The court ...