Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning
Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio
Case No. 96 CR 192
Plaintiff-Appellee Paul Gains Prosecutor Ralph M. Rivera
Defendant-Appellant Lawrence E. Ross, Pro-se
JUDGES: Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Mary
Defendant-appellant, Lawrence Ross, appeals from a Mahoning
County Common Pleas Court judgment denying his postconviction
We set out the facts of this case in appellant's direct
appeal as follows.
This appeal stems from an incident which occurred on February
5, 1996, at approximately 9:00 p.m. Mark Brown was at his
northside home in Youngstown, Ohio, along with his
fiancé, Regina Thomas. Also present in the home were
Regina Thomas' two younger brothers, fifteen year old
Frank Teemer and eleven year old Rance Teemer, and
Thomas' son, seven year old William Thomas. Mark
Brown's son, eleven year old Mark Brown, Jr., was also at
Appellant, along with three other men, broke down the front
door to the home and entered yelling "police".
Appellant was brandishing an assault rifle. Regina Thomas,
Frank Teemer, and Mark Brown, Jr. were forced at gunpoint to
lie face down on the floor. William Thomas and Rance Teemer,
fled from the living room up the stairs to the bedrooms to
hide. Appellant and two of his accomplices went after Mark
Brown who also had began to run upstairs. As the three
approached the top of the stairs, Mark Brown shoved appellant
and one of the other accomplices against the wall and then
fled back down the stairs. As Mark Brown was going back down
the stairs, appellant fired two shots, one striking Brown in
the arm. Brown made it out the front door and to the front
lawn. Appellant pursued Brown and shot him in the back as he
tried to run away.
Robert Maravola, a neighbor, saw appellant shoot Brown and
saw Brown stumble and collapse. Maravola called 911, then ran
outside with a gun and appellant and his three accomplices
fled the scene. Maravola ran up to where Brown was lying.
Maravola asked Brown, "Who did this to you?" Brown
responded that it was appellant. Brown told Maravola,
"I'm not going to make it. Go check on my boys. Go
make sure my kids are okay."
Officer David Ellis of the Youngstown Police Department
responded to the scene and went to Brown. He asked Brown who
had shot him. Again, Brown indicated that it was appellant.
Brown also told Officer Ellis, "I'm not going to
make it." Brown died shortly thereafter.
On March 22, 1996, a Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on one count of aggravated murder with a death
specification, one count of aggravated burglary, and one
count of having weapons while under disability. Each count
carried a firearm specification.
State v. Ross, 7th Dist. Nos. 96 C.A. 247, 96 C.A.
251, 1999 WL 826223, *1 (Oct. 12, 1999).
Appellant was convicted of all counts but the jury rejected
the death penalty and recommended 30 years to life in prison.
Appellant filed a direct appeal with this court and we
affirmed the trial ...