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State v. Wilson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

December 29, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
CALVIN J. WILSON Defendant-Appellee

         Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Trial Court Case No. 16-CR-3215

          MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by HEATHER N. JANS, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant.

          DANIEL J. O'BRIEN, Attorney for Defendant-Appellee.

          OPINION

          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Pursuant to R.C. 2945.67(A) and Crim.R. 12(K), the State of Ohio appeals the decision of the Montgomery County Court of Common Plea granting Calvin Wilson's motion to suppress. For the following reasons, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} After a suppression hearing, the trial court found the following facts.

         {¶ 3} At approximately 10:55 p.m. on October 1, 2016, Dayton Police Officers William Davis and Bryan Camden were driving eastbound in their marked cruiser on Hoover Avenue. The conditions were dark and rainy, and the streets were wet, causing significant glare from the headlights of approaching traffic; the cruiser's windshield wipers were activated. The posted speed limit on Hoover Avenue was 35 miles per hour.

         {¶ 4} As the cruiser approached the intersection of Hoover and Elmhurst, Wilson's vehicle (a 2015 Chevy Traverse SUV) turned right from Elmhurst onto Hoover in front of the cruiser. Officer Davis testified that only two or three car lengths separated the vehicles when Wilson pulled out and that he (Davis) "had to hit the [brakes] to avoid running into the rear of [Wilson's] vehicle;" the trial court found this testimony to be not credible. Instead, after a review of the cruiser video, the trial court found that Wilson pulled onto Hoover "no less than 306 feet - or more than eighteen (18) car lengths - in front of the cruiser." The trial court further stated that "[a] slamming on of the cruiser's brakes would necessarily have precipitated a sudden dip of the cruiser's nose - a dip completely absent on the video." Rather, the trial court found that the cruiser "gently decelerated" from a speed of 43 miles per hour to the posted speed limit.

         {¶ 5} The cruiser followed Wilson's vehicle to the next intersection, Hoover Avenue and North Gettysburg Road. Both vehicles stopped in the left turn lane at the traffic light. The officers remarked to each other about the out-of-state license plates on Wilson's vehicle (a rental) and discussed towing Wilson's vehicle. When the traffic light turned green, both vehicles moved forward to turn left onto North Gettysburg. At this juncture (over one and a half minutes after Wilson pulled onto Hoover), the officers engaged in the following exchange, which the trial court concluded was "staged":

Davis: "He pulled out there, pulled right in front of me!"
Camden: "He pulled out in front of us."[1]
Davis: "Had to hit the brakes to avoid * * *."
Camden: "Yeah, they had a - a failure to yield."

(Footnote added.) After both vehicles turned onto Gettysburg, the officers initiated a traffic stop due to Wilson's ...


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