Kelley, Adams County Prosecutor, and Ariana Bowles, Adams
County Assistant Prosecutor, West Union, Ohio, for Appellant.
E. Cantrell, Offices of Young & Caldwell, LLC, West
Union, Ohio, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Matthew W. McFarland, Judge
The State of Ohio appeals the March 15, 2017 judgment entry
of the Adams County Common Pleas Court which dismissed Counts
I, III, and IV of an indictment against Appellee Gregory
Wright. On appeal, the State asserts that the trial court
erred by granting Appellee's motion to dismiss those
counts against him based upon double jeopardy. Upon review,
we find the State's argument has merit. For the reasons
which follow, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
This matter arises from a traffic stop on December 1, 2016 in
Adams County, Ohio. On that date, Appellee was stopped by
Detective Sam Purdin of the Adams County Sheriffs Department.
Due to Purdin's belief that Appellee was operating his
vehicle under the influence of a drug or drugs of abuse,
Purdin requested a urine sample. Appellee was also searched
and Purdin located one white pill. Appellee was charged with
operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or
drug of abuse, a violation of RC. 4511.19(A)(1)(a) (OVI), and
a traffic lane violation, in Adams County Court case numbers
Detective Purdin also filed a criminal complaint that
Appellee knowingly possessed heroin, a violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), and a felony of the fifth degree. Appellee was
scheduled for a preliminary hearing of the matter, Adams
County Court case number CRA160580, on December 6, 2016.
Appellee was provided court-appointed counsel. At the
preliminary hearing, the court found probable cause to bind
over Appellee's felony possession charge to the Adams
County Grand Jury. In the Adams County Common Pleas Court,
this case was originally designated case number CRI20160187.
Later, the test of Appellee's urine sample obtained as a
result of the December 1st traffic stop showed the
presence of several additional illegal substances. On
December 15, 2016, Appellee was charged in a four-count
indictment for violations of R.C. 2925.11(A), all felonies of
the fifth degree. The indictment specified as follows: (Count
1) aggravated possession of oxycodone; (Count 2) aggravated
possession of acetaminophen/hydrocodone; (Count 3) aggravated
possession of methamphetamine; and (Count 4) possession of
On December 19, 2016, Appellee was arraigned in the Adams
County Court of Common Pleas and entered pleas of not guilty
to all counts. On December 20, 2016, Appellee's counsel
as to the criminal indictment filed a notice of
representation, jury demand, request for discovery, and
request for bill of particulars. The matter was set for a
pretrial hearing to be held January 13, 2017.
On January 23, 2017, Appellee's OVI charge was amended to
physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, a
violation of R.C.4511.194. Appellee pleaded guilty to the
amended charge in Adams County Court and was sentenced to a
fine, costs, suspended jail sentence, and probation. The
accompanying misdemeanor traffic charge was dismissed.
Appellee filed a motion on January 30, 2017 in the Adams
County Common Pleas Court to dismiss all counts contained in
the indictment against him on the grounds of double jeopardy.
On March 3, 2017, the common pleas court judge held an oral
hearing on Appellee's motion to dismiss. The trial court
found as follows:
"Prior to the hearing the Defendant, through counsel
withdrew the motion to dismiss count II as the count's
bill of particulars will be amended as the court deals with a
pill and not substances within the body. * * * 1. The court
hereby dismisses with prejudice Counts I, III, and IV of the
indictment as they would subject the Defendant to double
The trial court filed the judgment entry journalizing the
decision on March 15, 2017. ...