from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Seth L. Gilbert, for
A. Monford, pro se.
1} Defendant-appellant, LaRue A. Monford, pro se,
appeals from a November 23, 2016 judgment of the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas denying his motion for leave to
file a delayed motion for a new trial. For the reasons that
follow, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} On February 15, 2008, appellant was indicted by
the Franklin County Grand Jury for murder, attempted murder,
felonious assault, carrying a concealed weapon, and three
3} The relevant underlying facts of this case were
fully set forth in detail in appellant's direct appeal in
State v. Monford, 10th Dist. No. 09AP-274,
2010-Ohio-4732, ¶ 2-33. For purposes of this appeal, the
following are the pertinent facts and procedural history.
Appellant's convictions arise from an incident that
occurred on the afternoon of February 7, 2008, at a bar known
as D # 1 Happy Family, located on St. Clair Avenue in
Columbus. On that date, Alicia Brown went to D # 1 Happy
Family to meet Eugene Brown, a local disc jockey, to pick up
concert tickets. Upon her arrival, Alicia saw appellant.
Although the two had never previously met, they exchanged
brief pleasantries. A short while later, Eugene arrived at
the bar and he and Alicia sat next to one another and had a
few drinks. Alicia testified that appellant shot Eugene from
behind, and also shot her in the left hip and the right
buttocks when she was running away. She made a positive
identification of appellant in court as the shooter.
4} In all, there were five witnesses who testified
that appellant was the shooter. Two of those witnesses were
familiar with appellant and had seen him on prior occasions.
Three of the witnesses viewed photo arrays and identified
appellant as the shooter. An additional witness, Frank
McKnight, testified that he had been acquainted with
appellant for approximately 16 years and saw appellant
driving away from the crime scene. A vehicle matching the
description given by witnesses as the vehicle used by the
suspect to drive away from the scene was located at the
address listed on appellant's driver's license.
5} In his opening statement, appellant's counsel
referenced an alibi defense, claiming appellant was not at
the bar at the time of the shooting. However, appellant did
not provide any evidence of an alibi. Appellant presented the
testimony of Solomon M. Fulero, Ph.D., J.D., an expert
witness to challenge the reliability of the appellee's
identification evidence. "[Throughout the entire trial
proceedings, [appellant's] theory of the case was clearly
one of misidentification. His entire defense was * * * that
he was simply not the shooter and that the witnesses had
gotten it wrong." Monford at ¶ 74.
6} The jury believed the eyewitnesses. On December
17, 2008, the jury found appellant guilty of murder in the
shooting death of Eugene Brown, attempted murder and
felonious assault in the shooting of Alicia Brown, carrying a
concealed weapon, and the three-year firearm specifications.
The trial court imposed an aggregate sentence of 28 years to
life in prison.
7} Appellant filed a timely direct appeal, asserting
eight assignments of error. We found that the evidence was
sufficient to support appellant's convictions for murder,
attempted murder, felonious assault, and carrying a concealed
weapon. Accordingly, we overruled all of appellant's
assignments of error and affirmed the trial court.
Monford at ¶ 131.
8} In the years after his trial, appellant filed
several motions, petitions, and other requests with the trial
court-all to no avail. On September 9, 2016, almost eight
years after appellant's convictions, he filed a
"Motion for Leave to File Motion for New Trial on
Account of Newly Discovered Evidence and/or Due to
Withholding of Exculpatory Evidence" ("motion for
leave"). Appellee responded to the motion for leave,
arguing that appellant failed to show that he was
"unavoidably prevented" from discovering any of ...