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State v. Jack

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga

December 28, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RANDOLPH H. JACK, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal from the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas. Case No. 15 C 000117.

          James R. Flaiz, Geauga County Prosecutor, and Nicholas A. Burling, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Courthouse Annex, 231 Main Street, Suite 3A, Chardon, OH 44024 (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Matthew C. Bangerter, P.O. Box 148, Mentor, OH 44061 (For Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY P. CANNON, JUDGE.

         {¶1} On February 10, 2016, appellant, Randolph H. Jack, appealed a judgment of the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, following a bench trial, which found him guilty of two felonies and sentenced him to 30 months in prison. This court affirmed that decision on December 27, 2016, in State v. Jack, 11th Dist. Geauga No. 2016-G-0057, 2016-Ohio-8424. On March 9, 2017, this court granted appellant's motion to reopen his direct appeal for the limited purpose of considering whether the trial court erred by imposing separate sentences for alleged allied offenses, in contravention of R.C. 2941.25, and whether previous appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise this issue. For the reasons that follow, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         {¶2} On June 2, 2015, Detective John Bilicic of the Geauga County Sheriffs Department was investigating whether appellant was unlawfully purchasing chemicals for the manufacture of drugs. He was informed by Lieutenant Pomnean of the Chester Township Police Department that appellant was also suspected of attempting to sell a 2014 Caterpillar Skid Steer that was reported stolen in Radford City, Virginia, on or about May 15, 2015. The communication received from the Radford City Police Department included a picture of the skid steer, its model number (259B3), its serial number (YYZ0443765SSGPO14591), and stated there was reason to believe appellant had listed it for sale on craigslist.org.

         {¶3} Detective Bilicic contacted Detective Eric McClanahan of the Radford City Police Department and was informed the suspect had towed the skid steer from a worksite on a trailer behind a white pickup truck. The truck's lower half was a color other than white, had a red cap (or "campertop-like device") on the back of the truck, and a tow mirror on the passenger side of the truck. The trailer had a Virginia registration sticker affixed to it and chrome lug nuts on only one wheel.

         {¶4} Detective Bilicic accessed the posting on craigslist.org, which listed the model number as 259B3 and the selling price as $31, 000. Detective Bilicic sent a text message to the number listed on the posting, expressing an interest in purchasing the skid steer. The seller responded he would only accept cash because he did not have a bank account. A meeting was arranged for 8:00 a.m. on June 3, 2015, in Auburn Township.

         {¶5} At the meeting site, Detective Bilicic observed appellant driving a white pickup truck with a different-colored lower half, but it did not have tow mirrors or a red cap on the back. Attached to the truck was a trailer that had chrome lug nuts on only one wheel. The trailer had a Virginia registration sticker but Ohio license plates. On the trailer was a 2014 Caterpillar Skid Steer, model number 259B3. Detective Bilicic compared the serial number of the skid steer with the serial number provided by the Radford City Police Department, which he had written on his hand. The first eight digits and letters on his hand (YYZ04437), taken from the entire number provided by Radford City Police (YYZ04437 765SSGPO14591), matched the last eight digits and letters affixed to the skid steer (CAT0259BP YYZ04437).

         {¶6} Detective Bilicic arrested appellant for Receiving Stolen Property. Based on the entire serial number provided from the piece of machinery, dispatch reported to Detective Bilicic that the skid steer was not reported stolen. Almost immediately, however, Detective Bilicic received confirmation from Caterpillar that the skid steer was, in fact, the one reported stolen and explained that both numbers were assigned to the machine for different purposes: one was the "serial number" and one was the "PIN."

         {¶7} The truck, trailer, and skid steer were impounded. Detective Jeffrey Raymond of the Geauga County Sheriffs Office performed an inventory search of the truck and discovered methamphetamine behind the gas cap and bolt cutters under the hood. Detective Bilicic received a search warrant from the Chardon Municipal Court authorizing him to search appellant's cell phone, which was seized incident to the arrest. The cell phone contained evidence of criminal activity regarding the stolen skid steer and a stolen boat.

         {¶8} Appellant was arrested on June 3, 2015, and was arraigned in the Chardon Municipal Court. The matter was subsequently bound over to the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas. On July 14, 2015, appellant was indicted by the Geauga County Grand Jury on six counts: (1) Receiving Stolen Property (the skid steer), a fourth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A); (2) Aggravated Possession of Drugs, a fifth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) & (C)(1)(a); (3) Possessing Criminal Tools (the impounded truck), a fifth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2923.24(A); (4) Grand Theft (the boat), a fourth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(1); (5) Breaking and Entering, a fifth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2911.13(B); and (6) Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Drugs, a third-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.041(A).

         {¶9} Appellant remained in jail in lieu of posting bond and was appointed a public defender. He filed various pro se motions, which the trial court overruled, including motions to remove his public defender, to readdress bond consideration, and to dismiss on the basis of a speedy trial violation. The public defender was subsequently granted leave to withdraw on September 22, 2015, due to a "complete breakdown in the attorney/client relationship." The trial court appointed new counsel to represent appellant on October 7, 2015, who then filed a motion to suppress evidence. The motion was overruled following a hearing.

         {¶10} Appellant filed a waiver of jury trial. The state dismissed Count Five and Count Six (Breaking and Entering and Illegal Assembly or Possession), and the matter proceeded to trial before the bench on February 1, 2016. The state ...


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