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State v. Carlton Council

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 13, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CARLTON COUNCIL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio. Case No. 2015 CR 759

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Paul J. Gains Mahoning County Prosecutor Atty. Ralph M. Rivera Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant: Atty. Samuel G. Amendolara

          Hon. Carol Ann Robb Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Mary DeGenaro Judges.

          OPINION

          ROBB, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant Carlton Council appeals the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court's decision denying his suppression motion. The issue in this appeal involves the interpretation of R.C. 2152.19(F), the statute concerning the search of a juvenile probationer's residence and how far that search can extend. For the reasons expressed below, this court concludes R.C. 2152.19(F) permits an officer to search the residence of a juvenile probationer, including the parent's bedroom. The denial of the suppression motion is hereby affirmed.

         Statement of the Case

         {¶2} Appellant was staying at his girlfriend's, Monique White, residence. He was sharing her bedroom and, at the least, was an overnight guest in her house. Monique White's juvenile son, M.W., was on juvenile probation. M.W. posted a picture on social media where he appeared to be holding an assault rifle. The probation department saw the picture and conducted a search of the residence. During the search they were looking for the alleged assault rifle and for M.W.'s brother, a fugitive in another case; the authorities believed M.W. was helping his brother hide.

         {¶3} During the search, M.W.'s room and the common areas of the house were searched. Monique White's bedroom, where she and Appellant slept, was also searched and the officers found a lock box.

         {¶4} The lock box was allegedly big enough to hold the assault rifle. Upon finding the lock box, Monique White and Appellant were asked if they owned the lock box or knew the contents of lock box. Both denied ownership. Appellant stated the box belonged to his grandfather and he was keeping it for his grandfather while he was in the hospital. Monique White told the probation officer Appellant would likely knew more about the box and its contents. She stated she believed there was a handgun located inside the box.

         {¶5} The lock box was then forced open. Inside drugs were found along with credit cards and loyalty cards belonging to Appellant and Monique White.

         {¶6} As a result, a joint indictment charged both Appellant and Monique White with drug possession. Counts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 were specific as to Appellant. He was charged with four counts of possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A)(C)(2)(a), fifth degree felonies; one count of possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A)(C)(2)(b), a fourth degree felony; and one count of possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A)(C)(6)(e), a first degree felony. The drugs found were methandrostenolone, stanozolol, clonazepam, diazepam, and heroin. Counts 1, 3, 5, and 7 were elevated to fifth-degree felonies because Appellant had previously been convicted of a drug abuse offense. The indictment also contained a forfeiture specification pursuant to R.C. 2981; it was alleged Appellant and Monique White acquired $11, 120 through the commission of a felony drug abuse offense. 8/6/15 Indictment.

         {¶7} Appellant and Monique White filed individual motions to suppress. In his motions to suppress, Appellant argued the search of his and Monique White's bedroom was not authorized by R.C. 2152.19(F). The grant of authority in the statute is limited to where the parent or guardian expressly or impliedly permits the juvenile probationer to use, occupy, or possess. Since the lock box was in Appellant and Monique White's bedroom and the child did not have express or implied permission to use the lock box, the search exceeded the scope. 12/8/15 and 12/18/15 Appellant's Motions to Suppress.

         {¶8} In opposing the suppression motions, the state argued Monique White consented to a warrantless search of her residence as a condition of M.W.'s probation. 11/10/15 Motion in Opposition to Suppression[1]; 1/28/16 State's Supplemental Motion in Opposition to Suppression Motions. It asserted the consensual warrantless search extended to ...


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