Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common
Pleas, Case No. 2015 CR 01024. Judgment: Affirmed.
Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, Diane Barber and
Ashleigh Musick, Assistant Prosecutors, Administration
Building, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).
Marrett W. Hanna, (For Defendant-Appellant).
V. GRENDELL, J.
Defendant-appellant, Hargus D. Hall, appeals his conviction
for a single count of second-degree Burglary following a jury
trial in the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas. The
issues before this court are whether an instruction on a
lesser degree of Burglary is required when there is merely
"some evidence" that the defendant lacked a
criminal purpose when found trespassing in another's
home; whether evidence must be excluded which was not
produced until the day of trial but the existence of which
the defendant was aware; and whether a conviction for
Burglary is unsupported by sufficient evidence and/or against
the manifest weight of the evidence where the defendant is
found in another's home and the homeowner reports finding
drawers opened and a tablet missing. For the following
reasons, we affirm the decision of the court below.
On January 20, 2016, Hall was indicted by the Trumbull County
Grand Jury for Burglary, a felony of the second degree in
violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2) and (D).
On January 26, 2016, Hall entered a plea of "not
On December 19, 2016, Hall's case was tried before a
jury. The following relevant testimony was given:
Sergeant Harold Wix of the Trumbull County Sheriff's
Department testified that, on December 10, 2015, he was sent
to 336 Mahan Denman Road in Mecca Township. He arrived at
about 3:12 p.m. and met with the homeowner, James Hughes.
Hughes had returned home to find an unknown white male in his
home. Hughes provided Wix a description of the male and his
license plate number.
Sergeant Wix entered the license plate number into his police
cruiser's MDT (mobile data terminal) laptop and learned
that the vehicle was registered to Hall. An image of Hall
appeared on the laptop screen and Hughes identified him as
the person who was in his house. Wix issued a warrant for
Sergeant Wix did not observe any signs of forced entry into
the home. At the time, Hughes did not report any property
missing. A couple of days later Hughes called to report a
missing computer tablet.
Sergeant Wix described the area around Mahan Denman Road as
rural where ATVs (or four-wheelers) are fairly common.
Douglas J. Machingo testified that he was familiar with Hall
from high school. On December 10, 2015, Machingo was
returning home from work a little after three o'clock in
the afternoon when he saw Hall sitting in a car parked on
Lakeshore Drive. Machingo stopped and spoke with Hall for
about a minute.
Patrolman Tim Parana of the Warren Police Department
testified that, on December 10, 2015, he was sent to the
Buckeye Apartments on Tod Avenue in response to a report of a
male passed out in a vehicle in the parking lot. He arrived
at about 9:45 p.m., located the vehicle, and knocked on the
window to wake the occupant. The vehicle was registered to
Hall, who was the occupant, and he had an active felony
warrant. Parana placed Hall under arrest without incident.
Detective Jolene Marcello of the Trumbull County Sheriffs
Office testified that, on December 10, 2015, she heard a call
for a white Cadillac with license plate GRP 2221 that had
been involved in a burglary. At about 3:13 p.m. Marcello saw
the vehicle travelling southbound on Bazetta Road. She was
not able to effect a stop.
Following Hall's arrest that evening, Detective Marcello
recovered a maroon hoodie and a gray beanie-style hat from
James Hughes testified that he lives at 336 Mahan Denman Road
in Mecca Township with his girlfriend and children. On
December 10, 2015, Hughes returned home from work at about
2:30 p.m. to find a white Cadillac in the driveway. He called
his girlfriend to ask if she was expecting company but she
Hughes noticed the front door wide open and the screen door
closed. "The glass in the screen door was shaking * * *
like somebody was in the house moving around pretty
good." There was no one in the entranceway. He noted the
license plate number.
A man (Hall) whom Hughes did not recognize came out of the
house wearing a maroon hoodie, sweatpants, and a gray hat. He
"had his hands in his pocket, little bit nervous,
fidgety." Hughes asked if he could help him and he asked
if Hughes had a Raptor four-wheeler for sale. Hughes said no
and asked how he entered the house. Hall said the door was
open. Hughes told him it was time to get out of here. They
returned to their vehicles and Hughes backed up so Hall could
exit the driveway. Hall asked if this was Thompson Clark Road
and Hughes said no. Hall drove east toward Bazetta Road.
After Hall's departure, Hughes contacted 911. Hughes did
not see signs of forced entry. He noted that a junk drawer in
the kitchen was open and so was a drawer in the master
bedroom upstairs. That evening, Hughes noticed that a
seven-inch Google Nexus tablet was missing from the
nightstand next to the bed. Hughes ...