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State v. Hall

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull

April 30, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
HARGUS DENNISON HALL, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015 CR 01024. Judgment: Affirmed.

          Dennis Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, Diane Barber and Ashleigh Musick, Assistant Prosecutors, Administration Building, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Marrett W. Hanna, (For Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          DIANE V. GRENDELL, J.

         {¶1} 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.

         {¶2} 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).

         {¶3} On January 26, 2016, Hall entered a plea of "not guilty."

         {¶4} On December 19, 2016, Hall's case was tried before a jury. The following relevant testimony was given:

         {¶5} 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.

         {¶6} 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 Hall's arrest.

         {¶7} 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.

         {¶8} Sergeant Wix described the area around Mahan Denman Road as rural where ATVs (or four-wheelers) are fairly common.

         {¶9} 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.

         {¶10} 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.

         {¶11} Following Hall's arrest that evening, Detective Marcello recovered a maroon hoodie and a gray beanie-style hat from his vehicle.

         {¶12} 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 was not.

         {¶13} 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.

         {¶14} 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.

         {¶15} 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 ...


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