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State v. Ross

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 14, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
LAWRENCE E. ROSS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Criminal Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 96 CR 192

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

          For Defendant-Appellant Lawrence E. Ross, Pro-se

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

          OPINION

          DONOFRIO, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Lawrence Ross, appeals from a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judgment denying his postconviction petition.

         {¶2} 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 the home.
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).

         {¶3} 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 ...


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