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State v. Locke

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Ashland

January 2, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
JONAH A. LOCKE Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Ashland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 16-CRI-096

          For Plaintiff-Appellee CHRISTOPHER R. TUNNELL Prosecuting Attorney By: VICTOR R. PEREZ Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant CHRISTINA I REIHELD

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Baldwin, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Jonah A. Locke appeals his conviction and sentence from the Ashland County Court of Common Pleas on three counts of public indecency. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On May 12, 2016, the Ashland County Grand Jury indicted appellant on three counts of public indecency in violation of R.C. 2907.09(A)(1). While two of the counts were felonies of the fifth degree, the other count was a misdemeanor of the first degree. At his arraignment on May 20, 2016, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

         {¶3} Subsequently, a jury trial commenced on April 18, 2017. At the trial, Leann Love testified that she lived on Vine Street and was outside cleaning her car on April 25, 2016 at approximately 3:00 p.m. when she made eye contact with a man who was shirtless and wearing sweatpants. After the man crossed the street and started to approach her, Love walked to the back of her house. She identified appellant at trial as the man. According to Love, the two met in her backyard. When the man was closer to the front of Love's house, she went into the house and locked the doors because she was nervous. The man then walked away.

         {¶4} Later the same day, Love saw on Facebook that the Sheriffs Office were looking for the man that she had observed in her neighborhood. She called the police and told them that their description of the man was "off. The police description described the man as Hispanic and "a lot taller and bigger than the person that I saw." Trial Transcript at 107. Love was unable to identity the person who she had seen when shown two different sets of photo lineups. After the police arrested a suspect, they contacted Love and asked her to look at the man's picture online. Love looked online and identified appellant as the person who she had seen on that day. At trial, she testified that she was 100% sure that appellant was that person.

         {¶5} On cross-examination, Love testified that she had described the man to police as white, between 5'8" and 5"10" with a pock marked face and wearing dark pants with a white shirt over his head. On redirect, she testified that she picked appellant's picture out of 40 photographs online.

         {¶6} C.K. testified that she was ten years old on April 25, 2016 and was at her house sitting on a trampoline in her backyard on Vine Street. She testified that a man who was shirtless wearing sweatpants with a dark blue sweatshirt tied around his head was walking around her garage heading towards her. The man walked around the garage once towards Vine Street and then came back. C.K. testified that the man told her to look and that when she did, the man pulled down his pants and was not wearing any underwear. She testified that she saw the man's penis and became scared. C.K. identified appellant in court as the man. She further testified that she picked appellant out of a photo lineup shown to her by the police and was "very sure" that appellant was the man. Trial Transcript at 123. C.K. later testified that she was able to see the man's face and that appellant was the man.

         {¶7} The next witness to testify was Bruce Cassidy. He testified that he lived in the Barbara Lanes Apartments and that, on April 25, 2016, when he was backing out of his parking spot, he noticed appellant walking down the sidewalk behind the vehicles. He testified that appellant had a ponytail and was wearing dark clothes. Cassidy testified that he had not seen appellant before and did not see him again.

         {¶8} Kedrick Brown next testified that on April 25, 2016, he was at his home on Sloan Avenue. He testified that he saw appellant wearing dark sweatpants with a shirt tied around his head walking around the Barbara Lanes Apartments in his backyard. Brown testified that he saw appellant exposing himself to the two little neighbor girls. According to Brown, appellant was "waiving his penis, he wanted them to see what he had." Trial Transcript at 141. He testified that the girls then took off running towards the house terrified while appellant walked towards the back of Barbara Lane. Brown was unable to identify appellant out of the first photo lineup shown to him by police, ...


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