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State v. Bradley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

December 22, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
WATSON BRADLEY, III Defendant-Appellant

         Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court T.C. NO. 2016-CR-1656

          ALICE B. PETERS, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

          TRAVIS KANE, E. Centerville Station Road, Centerville, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          DONOVAN, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Watson F. Bradley appeals his conviction and sentence for one count of having weapons while under disability (prior drug conviction), in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3), a felony of the third degree; one count of possession of cocaine (less than five grams), in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of possession of heroin (one gram but less than five grams), in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), a felony of the fourth degree. Bradley filed a timely notice of appeal with this Court on March 22, 2017.

         {¶ 2} The incident which forms the basis for the instant appeal occurred on May 27, 2016, when Dayton Police Officer Cody Hartings was dispatched to a residence located at 50 Glenwood Drive in Dayton, Ohio, in order to investigate an aggravated menacing complaint.[1] Upon arriving at the residence in question, Officer Hartings spoke with Eric Potter, who indicated that his brother-in-law, Bradley, had pointed a handgun at him during a confrontation between the two men. Potter informed Officer Hartings that Bradley was currently in the upstairs bedroom and that the handgun would most likely be located in the closet of that room. Potter also informed Officer Hartings that he was the owner of the house and lived there with his wife, whom he did not identify by name.

         {¶ 3} At this point, Officer Hartings, accompanied by Officer Evans, went upstairs and entered the bedroom identified by Potter. Inside the bedroom, the officers observed Bradley sitting on a bed. Officer Hartings asked Bradley whether he and Potter had gotten into a fight earlier. Bradley responded in the affirmative. Officer Hartings testified that Bradley was calm and cooperative at all times. Officer Hartings then asked Bradley if all of the property in the bedroom belonged to him. Officer Hartings also asked for Bradley's consent to search the room for the handgun that Potter described. Bradley informed the officers that all of the property in the room was indeed his, but he did not live at the house, so he could not give them consent to search the room.

         {¶ 4} Officer Evans remained in the bedroom with Bradley while Officer Hartings went back downstairs to speak with Potter. Believing him to be the owner of the residence, Officer Hartings asked Potter if he would sign a consent to search form. Potter signed the consent to search form. Thereafter, Officers Hartings and Evans searched the bedroom where Bradley was located and discovered a handgun, two loaded magazines, various drug paraphernalia, and what was later identified as heroin and crack cocaine. Whereupon, Bradley was handcuffed and arrested.

         {¶ 5} On May 29, 2016, Bradley was interviewed by Dayton Police Detective Rod Roberts. Detective Roberts informed Bradley of his Miranda rights and asked him to sign a pre-interview form. Bradley signed the pre-interview form and agreed to speak to Detective Roberts without an attorney. Bradley informed Detective Roberts that he actually resided at 809 Ferndale Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. Bradley also stated that he did not live at 50 Glenwood Avenue where he was arrested, but only "stayed there from to time." Bradley further stated that none of the property discovered in the bedroom by Officer Hartings belonged to him.

         {¶ 6} Thereafter on July 29, 2016, Bradley was indicted for one count of having a weapon while under disability (prior drug conviction). At his arraignment on August 9, 2016, Bradley stood mute, and the trial court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Bradley filed a motion to suppress all of the physical evidence on August 25, 2016. A hearing was held on said motion on October 6, 2016. At the hearing, Bradley's sister, Danisha Turner, testified that she was the only legal occupant of the residence located at 50 Glenwood Avenue when her brother was arrested on May 27, 2016. Turner testified that she and Potter had never been married and that he was only her ex-boyfriend. Additionally, Turner testified that while she and Potter were dating, he never lived with her, but only stayed at her house occasionally.

         {¶ 7} With respect to her brother, Turner testified that before he was arrested on May 27, 2016, Bradley had been staying at her house for approximately four to five days. Turner testified that Bradley mainly lived with his girlfriend, but she permitted him to keep some of his personal belongings at her house in the upstairs bedroom. Turner testified that she also permitted other relatives and friends to stay in the upstairs bedroom from time to time. Turner was not present at 50 Glenwood Avenue when Bradley was arrested, and she testified that she did not authorize Potter to give consent to search her house.

         {¶ 8} On November 8, 2016, the trial court issued a decision overruling Bradley's motion to suppress in its entirety. On December 9, 2016, a second indictment was issued against Bradley, charging him with possession of heroin and possession of cocaine. On December 15, 2016, Bradley filed a second motion to suppress in order to address the new charges. The second motion to suppress contained the same arguments as did Bradley's first suppression motion. On February 6, 2017, the trial court overruled Bradley's second motion to suppress.

         {¶ 9} On February 9, 2017, Bradley pled no contest to one count of having a weapon while under disability (prior drug conviction), one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of possession of heroin. The trial court accepted Bradley's no contest pleas, found him guilty on all counts, and ordered the adult probation department to prepare a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI). On March 9, 2017, the trial court sentenced Bradley to community control sanctions not to exceed five years.

         {¶ 10} It is from this judgment that ...


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