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State v. Tillis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 8, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TERRENCE TILLIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Criminal Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 14 CR 1132

          For Plaintiff-Appellee Paul Gains Prosecutor Ralph M. Rivera Assistant Prosecutor

          For Defendant-Appellant Attorney Donna Jewell McCollum

          JUDGES: Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Mary DeGenaro

          OPINION

          DONOFRIO, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Terrence Tillis, appeals from a Mahoning Country Common Pleas Court judgment convicting him of burglary, following a jury trial.

         {¶2} On October 21, 2014, Crystal Jefferson left her house in Youngstown at approximately 10:30 a.m. to give a friend a ride. Upon her return home, around 11:00 a.m., Jefferson went back to sleep. According to Jefferson, she was asleep for ten to fifteen minutes when she "felt something" in the bedroom with her. Jefferson awoke to see appellant standing in her bedroom doorway. Jefferson recognized appellant because she has known him for years and appellant resided next door with his girlfriend. Upon seeing appellant in her bedroom, Jefferson began yelling and cursing at him to leave. It was at this point that Jefferson saw appellant grab her Michael Kors purse and flee from her residence.

         {¶3} Jefferson got dressed and went next door where appellant was staying and banged on the door. Appellant did not open the door or acknowledge Jefferson. One of the neighbors heard the commotion and approached Jefferson. The neighbor permitted Jefferson to use his phone to call the police. Youngstown Police Officer Richard Baldwin and Detective-Sergeant Chad Zubal responded. Officer Baldwin took a report on what had transpired. When Detective Zubal heard Jefferson explain the situation, and realized the suspect lived next door, Detective Zubal and a few other officers approached the house where appellant resided. Appellant answered the door for the officers and invited them into the foyer. While inside, the officers did not conduct a search because Detective Zubal believed they did not have enough evidence to search the residence. Despite the officers not conducting a search of the residence, they did conduct a protective sweep to ensure no one else was inside the house. The officers did not see Jefferson's purse during the protective sweep. The officers subsequently arrested appellant.

         {¶4} Jefferson's purse was not located until Brenda Reed (appellant's girlfriend) went to Jefferson's house and returned the purse to Jefferson. Jefferson's friend, Laponica Lampley, witnessed Reed give the purse to Jefferson.

         {¶5} A Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted appellant on one count of burglary, a second-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(1)(D). The matter proceeded to a jury trial. The jury found appellant guilty as charged. The trial court subsequently sentenced appellant to six years' incarceration.

         {¶6} This court granted appellant leave to file a delayed appeal on October 25, 2016. He now raises one assignment of error.

         {¶7} Appellant's sole assignment of error states:

THE COURT DENIED APPELLANT DUE PROCESS UNDER THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT DUE TO THE FACT THAT HIS CONVICTION FOR BURGLARY WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WRIGHT [SIC] OF THE EVIDENCE AND THE JURY'S VERDICT WAS INCONSISTENT WITH THE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY PRESENTED AT TRIAL.

         {¶8} In his assignment of error, appellant asserts both that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction and that his conviction was against the manifest weight of ...


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