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State v. Dorsey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

January 5, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
STEVEN DORSEY Defendant-Appellant

         Trial Court Case No. 2015-CR-12 (Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court)

          MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by ANDREW T. FRENCH, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office, Appellate Division, Montgomery County Courts Building, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          MARSHALL G. LACHMAN, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.


          WELBAUM, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Steven Dorsey, appeals from the conviction and sentence he received in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas after a jury found him guilty of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification. In support of his appeal, Dorsey contends that his indictment should have been dismissed because the statutory provisions governing the mandatory transfer of juvenile cases to adult court, R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and R.C. 2152.12(A)(1)(b), are unconstitutional. Dorsey also argues that his conviction is against the manifest weight of the evidence. For the reasons outlined below, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

         Facts and Course of Proceedings

         {¶ 2} On January 20, 2015, the Montgomery County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Dorsey with one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), a felony of the first degree. The charge also included a three-year firearm specification.

         {¶ 3} Dorsey, who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense, had previously been charged in the trial court's juvenile division. However, pursuant to R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and R.C. 2152.12(A)(1)(b), the State filed a motion to have Dorsey's case transferred to the general division so that he could be tried as an adult. Following a hearing on the matter, the juvenile court issued an entry finding probable cause to believe that Dorsey had committed aggravated robbery with a firearm and granting the State's motion to transfer. Accordingly, the juvenile court relinquished its jurisdiction over the case and ordered its transfer to the general division pursuant to the mandatory transfer provisions in R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and R.C. 2152.12(A)(1)(b).

         {¶ 4} Once Dorsey was indicted in the trial court's general division, Dorsey pled not guilty to the aggravated robbery charge and filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on grounds that the mandatory transfer provisions in R.C. 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and R.C. 2152.12(A)(1)(b) violated his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process, as well as his right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court, however, found no constitutional violation and overruled Dorsey's motion. The matter then proceeded to a two-day jury trial.

         {¶ 5} At trial, the State presented the testimony of the victim, Travis Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth testified that around 4:00 p.m. on November 5, 2014, he was on his way to get gas in his red Chevy Trailblazer when he decided to first stop at Main Mart on North Main Street in Dayton, Ohio, to purchase some pork rinds. As he exited Main Mart, he claimed a young man, later identified as Dorsey, stopped him and asked for a dollar. Shuttleworth claimed that he gave Dorsey a dime because he had no other cash on hand.

         {¶ 6} Shuttleworth then testified that after he handed the dime to Dorsey, Dorsey asked if he and his two friends could get a ride "down the road." Trial Trans. (July 27, 2015), p. 103, 122. Shuttleworth claimed that Dorsey's two friends were standing at a nearby bus stop while he was talking to Dorsey. Shuttleworth did not recall either of Dorsey's two friends coming up and speaking to him outside Main Mart. Shuttleworth did, however, recall that one of Dorsey's friends was wearing a small red backpack. Shuttleworth further recalled that Dorsey's friends appeared to be 14 to 16 years of age and were bundled up since it was cold outside. Shuttleworth testified that he agreed to give the three of them a ride because he felt bad that they were standing out in the cold.

         {¶ 7} Continuing, Shuttleworth testified that Dorsey sat in the front-passenger seat of his vehicle while Dorsey's two friends sat in the backseat. During the ride, Dorsey asked Shuttleworth if he wanted five dollars for gas. Shuttleworth testified that he accepted Dorsey's offer and that Dorsey retrieved five dollars from one of his friends in the backseat. Thereafter, Shuttleworth claimed he stopped at a nearby Marathon gas station and purchased gas for his vehicle.

         {¶ 8} After he finished pumping gas, Shuttleworth claimed that Dorsey requested to be dropped off at an apartment complex located across the street from the gas station. Shuttleworth testified that he then drove to the apartment complex and parked. Once parked, Shuttleworth testified that Dorsey's two friends jumped out of the vehicle while Dorsey began "fiddling around." Trial Trans. (July 27, 2015), p. 106. Thereafter, Shuttleworth testified that he noticed Dorsey's two friends standing next to his driver-side door. Shuttleworth then turned around and saw Dorsey pointing a silver and black pistol at him.

         {¶ 9} Shuttleworth claimed that he asked Dorsey what was going on and that Dorsey ordered him to empty his pockets. Complying with Dorsey's request, Shuttleworth testified that he produced a cell phone, lighter, and contacts lens case from his pockets, but that Dorsey permitted him to keep the lighter and contacts case. Thereafter, Shuttleworth testified that Dorsey ordered him to "walk that way" and "don't say nothing." Id. In response, Shuttleworth testified that he walked 30 to 40 feet from his vehicle and then started running across the street. As he was running, Shuttleworth heard his vehicle take off down the road. Shuttleworth claimed that he ran to the Marathon gas station where he had previously purchased gas and called 9-1-1 to report the incident.

         {¶ 10} Shuttleworth further testified that Dorsey had a tattoo underneath his right eye that looked like a cross or some other kind of symbol. Shuttleworth did not notice whether either of Dorsey's friends had tattoos on their faces, but claimed that they appeared to be younger than Dorsey and were not that talkative. Shuttleworth also testified that he did not go to Main Mart in search of drugs and that he never asked Dorsey where he could find drugs.

         {¶ 11} Following Shuttleworth's testimony, the State called Montgomery County Sheriffs Deputy Brian Shiverdecker to testify. Shiverdecker testified that on November 6, 2014, he was involved in a traffic stop of a red Chevy Trailblazer that had been reported stolen the day before. Shiverdecker testified that he initially spotted the stolen vehicle in the area of North Main Street and Parkwood Drive, which is located near Main Mart. According to Shiverdecker, that area is "pretty common for narcotics and weapons issues." Trial Trans. (July 27, 2015), p. 133.

         {¶ 12} Video footage from Shiverdecker's cruiser camera was played for the jury. The video showed Shuttleworth's red Chevy Trailblazer turning into Main Mart's parking lot. As the vehicle turned into the parking lot, the driver, later identified as Dorsey, immediately fled from the vehicle on foot once Shiverdecker activated ...

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