Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren
APPEAL FROM FRANKLIN MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. 17-05-TRD-3414
M. Runge, Franklin City Prosecutor, for plaintiff-appellee
E. Wilson, defendant-appellant, pro se
1} Defendant-appellant, Thomas E. Wilson, appeals
from his conviction in the Franklin Municipal Court for one
count of speeding in violation of R.C. 4511.21(D)(3), a minor
misdemeanor.  For the reasons set forth below, we affirm
2} On May 13, 2017, Trooper Robert Todd Bailey of
the Ohio State Highway Patrol was operating an UltraLyte LR B
laser device while doing routine traffic enforcement on
Interstate 75 in Franklin Township, Warren County,
Ohio. At approximately 12:39 p.m., Bailey
observed a blue Chevrolet operated by Wilson traveling above
the posted speed limit of 65 m.p.h. Bailey activated his
UltraLyte LR B device and received a reading that
Wilson's vehicle was traveling 82 m.p.h. Bailey initiated
a traffic stop and issued Wilson a citation for speeding in
violation of R.C. 4511.21(D)(3).
3} At his June 2, 2017 arraignment, Wilson entered a
not guilty plea to the charge and executed a written
"Waiver of Time, " indicating he needed additional
time to prepare his defense. Wilson filed a request for
discovery with the prosecutor, seeking information relating
to the specific laser device used in issuing the speeding
ticket and Trooper Bailey's certification and training on
said device. Wilson's request for discovery was filed May
4} A bench trial was scheduled for June 30, 2017. At
this time, Wilson appeared before the court and moved for
dismissal of the charge on the basis that the speeding
citation had not been signed. The court denied Wilson's
request, finding that the citation was not required to be
signed "because it came through electronically to the
Court." Wilson also asked the court to dismiss the case
because the prosecutor had not provided the requested
discovery. The prosecutor opposed the motion, stating that he
had been unable to provide the discovery because Trooper
Bailey had been on vacation and had just recently returned.
The prosecutor indicated the requested discovery would be
provided to Wilson by the end of the following week. The
court denied the motion to dismiss and rescheduled
Wilson's bench trial for July 11, 2017.
5} Prior to the trial commencing on July 11, 2017,
Wilson moved for a dismissal on the basis that his statutory
speedy trial rights had been violated as he had not been
brought to trial within 30 days. The court denied the motion,
finding that the speedy-trial time period had been tolled and
the time extended by Wilson's request for discovery.
Thereafter, the trial commenced and the state called Trooper
Bailey as its only witness.
6} Bailey testified he has been a trooper with the
Ohio State Highway Patrol for 24 years and has received
training in speed enforcement through the police academy and
postgraduate training courses. Annually he undergoes a
written and visual estimation training course, and he has
been certified in the use of the following speed detection
instruments: "laser, radar, ultralight laser, ultralight
laser LTI 2020, * * * laser LTI 2020, K Band, [and] X Band
7} Prior to using the UltraLyte LR B laser on May
13, 2017, Bailey stated he made sure the device was in proper
working order. At approximately 12:39 p.m., he observed the
Chevrolet operated by Wilson traveling above the posted speed
limit of 65 m.p.h. and activated his UltraLyte LR B device.
Using the device in accordance with his training, he recorded
Wilson traveling 82 m.p.h.
8} Wilson objected to the "introduction of
evidence or testimony based on the use of a[n] electronic
measuring device, specifically the ultra light * * * [as it]
has not been established as scientifically reliable or
accurate in measuring the vehicle speed." The trial
court overruled the objection after the following discussion
THE COURT: To the best of my recollection it's been
accepted by the Twelfth District Court of Appeals as
scientifically accurate. The motion's been overruled.
[PROSECUTOR]: Your Honor, this Court has also taken judicial
notice of it.
THE COURT: Taken judicial notice of it.
[PROSECUTOR]: Those instruments being scientifically
THE COURT: Correct. Overruled.
WILSON: Your Honor, I have two case studies I have two over
[sic] appeals in the Twelfth Appellate Court that were
overruled on the basis of the ultra light.
[PROSECUTOR]: And both of those cases proceeded [sic] this
Court's determination that the ultra light is
THE COURT: It was a finding. We had an expert witness come
down from Columbus. I did find that it was scientifically
reliable and accurate. Overruled.
9} On cross-examination, Wilson introduced the
user's manual for the UltraLyte LR B into evidence and
questioned Bailey about the maintenance of the device and
whether the device had displayed any error codes or
malfunctioned on the day his citation was given. Bailey did
not recall receiving an error code on May 13, 2017, and
explained that if the device malfunctioned and displayed an
error code when it was in use, he would not have been able to
measure Wilson's speed as the error code would have
"blocked" the speed to prevent an erroneous
reading. Bailey also testified that on the day the citation
was issued, he performed a display integrity test, scope
alignment test, reference frequency test, fixed distance
test, and Delta distance test using the UltraLyte LR B before
using the device to issue citations. Bailey explained that
doing these tests is "routine" for law enforcement
and that if, in doing the tests, "it doesn't match
up, [he] would turn the machine in, * * * write it up [to] *
* * say what it didn't do correctly and [he would] go get
another [device] and check it and use it * * * [while] the
other one [is] in for repair."
10} Wilson also cross-examined Bailey about his
training and certification to use the UltraLyte LR B and
introduced Bailey's certification logs into evidence. The
logs provided that Bailey was most recently certified on
"Radar/Laser" by Sergeant R.L. Burd on June 28,
2016, and again on June 2, 2017 by Sergeant Crisafi. The logs
further provided certifications by the sergeants that Bailey
"has demonstrated a satisfactory level of proficiency in
the operation of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's
Electronic Speed Measuring Devices" and "has a
knowledge and understands the policies and procedures set
forth to govern the operation of the devices." When
questioned about whether he was certified specifically on the
UltraLyte LR B model that he used in issuing Wilson's
speeding citation, Bailey testified as follows:
BAILEY: I have to be re-certified on theory. Okay. So whether
I use a LTI 2020 and a LL, a UL LTI 2020 or LR B an ultra
light laser, whatever one, it's still on the theory.
It's still on the same principle. It doesn't change
the theory here; the principle doesn't differ due to the
model of the laser they give me. * * * As far as the laser
itself, I was certified, I was re-certified by Sergeant
Crisafi who went out with me as I spoke before, made me give
him a visual estimation of vehicles before he (A) activated
the radar or (B) I was able to pull the trigger on the laser
gun and I had to be within the tolerance that he was askin[g]
for or else I would have failed and [h]e wouldn't have
signed off on my training.
11} Following Bailey's testimony, the state
rested and Wilson moved for acquittal pursuant to Crim.R.
29(A). His motion was overruled. Wilson then rested his
defense after the trial court accepted the UltraLyte LR
B's user manual into evidence, along with Bailey's
certification logs, and emails exchanged by Wilson and the
prosecutor. Prior to the court rendering judgment, Wilson and
the trial court engaged in the following discussion:
WILSON: The only question I have was uh, when expert
testimony was provided with respect to this specific unit
because I had two cases in the Twelfth Appellate Court that
reversed a conviction based on the ultra light ...