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State v. Logan

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Allen

December 11, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
EVRED J. LOGAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Allen County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CR20160002

          Terrence K. Scott for Appellant.

          Terri L. Kohlrieser for Appellee.

          OPINION

          PRESTON, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Evred J. Logan ("Logan"), appeals the May 9, 2016 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 agreement between Logan and Timothy Cole ("Cole") and Jenna Shofner ("Shofner")[1] in which Logan agreed to provide Cole and Shofner heroin in exchange for performing renovation-work at Logan's house. Unsurprisingly, the agreement soured and Logan allegedly compelled Cole and Shofner to perform renovation work at his house against their will on December 27-29, 2015.

         {¶3} On February 11, 2016, the Allen County Grand Jury indicted Logan on three counts, including: Count One of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(6), (C)(1), a first-degree felony; Count Two of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(6), (C)(1), a first-degree felony; and Count Three of felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1), (D)(1)(a), a second-degree felony. (Doc. No. 3). Counts One and Two of the indictment include a specification under R.C. 2941.145(A) alleging that Logan committed the offenses with a firearm. (Id.).

         {¶4} On February 19, 2016, Logan appeared for arraignment and entered pleas of not guilty. (Doc. No. 12).

         {¶5} Prior to the start of trial, Logan's trial counsel informed the trial court that Logan wished to proceed pro se. (Mar. 28-30, 2016 Tr., Vol. I, at 4-5). The trial court conducted an ex parte hearing with Logan and his trial counsel regarding Logan's reasoning for his decision, then discussed, on the record, Logan's decision to represent himself at trial. (See id. at 6-22, 23-31). After Logan singed a waiver of counsel, the trial court permitted him to represent himself. (Id. at 32); (Doc. No. 62).

         {¶6} The case proceeded to a jury trial on March 28-30, 2016. (Mar. 28-30 Tr., Vol. I, at 1); (Mar. 28-30, 2016 Tr., Vol. II, at 263, 348). On March 30, 2016, the jury found Logan guilty of the counts in the indictment and not guilty as to the specifications in the indictment. (Doc. Nos. 66, 67, 68, 70); (Mar. 28-30, 2016 Tr., Vol. II, at 348-352). The trial court filed its judgment entry of conviction that same day. (Doc. No. 70). On May 9, 2016, the trial court sentenced Logan to 4 years in prison on Count One, 4 years in prison on Count Two, and 7 years in prison on Count Three, and ordered that Logan serve the terms consecutively for an aggregate sentence of 15 years in prison. (Doc. No. 73).

         {¶7} On June 8, 2016, Logan filed his notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 76). He raises two assignments of error for our review.

         Assignment of Error No. I

         The trial court violated Evred J. Logan's rights to due process and a fair trial when, in the absence of sufficient evidence, Mr. Logan was convicted of Counts 1 and 2, kidnapping. Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution. (Tr. p. 78-80, 84, 87, 88, 89, 152, 153, 157, 194, 201, and 203; May 9, 2016 Sentencing Hearing Tr. p. 13 and 14).

         {¶8} In his first assignment of error, Logan argues that his kidnapping convictions are based on insufficient evidence.[2] Specifically, Logan argues that there is insufficient evidence that he restrained Cole's and Shofner's liberty and that there is insufficient evidence that he purposefully held Cole and Shofner in a condition of involuntary servitude.

         {¶9} "An appellate court's function when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine whether such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1981), paragraph two of the syllabus, superseded by state constitutional amendment on other grounds, State v. Smith, 80 Ohio St.3d 89 (1997). Accordingly, "[t]he relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. "In deciding if the evidence was sufficient, we neither resolve evidentiary conflicts nor assess the credibility of witnesses, as both are functions reserved for the trier of fact." State v. Jones, 1st Dist. Hamilton Nos. C-120570 and C-120571, 2013-Ohio-4775, ¶ 33, citing State v. Williams, 197 Ohio App.3d 505, 2011-Ohio-6267, ¶ 25 (1st Dist). See also State v. Berry, 3d Dist. Defiance No. 4-12-03, 2013-Ohio-2380, ¶ 19 ("Sufficiency of the evidence is a test of adequacy rather than credibility or weight of the evidence."), citing Thompkins at 386.

         {¶10} Logan was convicted of two counts of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(6), which provides, in relevant part:

(A) No person, by force, threat, or deception * * * shall * * * restrain the liberty of the other person, for any of the following purposes:
(6) To hold in a condition of involuntary servitude.

         {¶11} Because they are the only elements Logan challenges on appeal, we will address only whether the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the prosecution, is such that a rational trier of fact could have found that: (1) Logan restrained Cole's and Shofner's liberty; and (2) Logan purposefully held Cole and Shofner in a condition of involuntary servitude.

         {¶12} "Restraining an individual's liberty means limiting or restraining their freedom of movement. The restraint need not be for any specific duration or in any specific manner." State v. Williams, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 16AP-540, 2017-Ohio-5598, ¶ 19, citing State v. Taylor, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 14AP-254, 2015-Ohio-2490, ¶ 18, citing 2 Ohio Jury Instructions, CR Section 505.01(A) (Rev. Jan. 20, 2007).

A person acts purposely when it is the person's specific intention to cause a certain result, or, when the gist of the offense is a prohibition against conduct of a certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish thereby, it is the ...

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