from Mercer County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
Michael J. Short for Appellant.
Matthew K. Fox and Joshua A. Muhlenkamp for Appellee.
Defendant-appellant, Richard C. Craw ("Craw"),
appeals the September 5, 2017 judgment entry of sentence of
the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas. He argues that the
trial court erred in denying his motions to suppress. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
This case stems from the execution of a search warrant
issued, in part, for a travel trailer owned by Craw following
an investigation of Craw's ties to and involvement in the
production of methamphetamine. The search warrant, executed
on September 18, 2014, yielded physical evidence of
methamphetamine possession and manufacturing. On October 17,
2014, the Mercer County Grand Jury indicted Craw on three
counts: Count One of illegal manufacture of drugs in
violation of R.C. 2925.04(A), (C)(3)(a), a second-degree
felony; Count Two of illegal assembly or possession of
chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.041(A), (C), a third-degree felony; and Count Three of
aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), (C)(1)(e), a first-degree felony, with a major
drug offender specification under R.C. 2941.1410(A). (Doc.
No. 5). Craw initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and
the specification on October 27, 2014. (See Doc. No.
27). (See also Oct. 27, 2014 Tr. at 4).
On June 29, 2015, Craw filed a motion to suppress the
physical evidence seized under the search warrant as well as
the statements he made to law enforcement officers during the
execution of the search warrant. (Doc. No. 71). Craw argued
that the search warrant was not supported by probable cause
and did not specify the places to be searched and the items
to be seized with sufficient particularity. (Id.).
Craw sought to suppress his statements on grounds that the
statements were made before he was informed of his
Miranda rights. (Id.).
After an August 28, 2015 hearing, the trial court denied
Craw's motion to suppress evidence on October 15, 2015.
(Doc. No. 87).
On January 19, 2016, Craw, through his attorney, filed a
motion requesting that the trial court reconsider its
judgment denying Craw's motion to suppress evidence and
issue findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Doc. No.
113). On February 25, 2016, Craw, pro se, filed a separate
motion for reconsideration. (Doc. No. 122).
On September 12, 2016, the State filed a memorandum in
opposition to the motions for reconsideration. (Doc. No.
161). On September 22, 2016, Craw, pro se, filed his response
to the State's memorandum in opposition to the motions
for reconsideration. (Doc. No. 168).
On December 2, 2016, the trial court denied Craw's
motions for reconsideration. (Doc. Nos. 188, 194).
On July 3, 2017, Craw filed a motion with the trial court
which the trial court treated as a renewed motion to suppress
evidence. (Doc. No. 324). The trial court denied Craw's
renewed motion later that day, adopting the entirety of its
October 15, 2015 judgment entry. (Doc. No. 326).
On July 27, 2017, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement,
Craw entered no contest pleas to Counts One and Two. (Doc.
No. 340). The trial court convicted Craw of those two charges
and dismissed Count Three and the specification. (Doc. No.
On September 5, 2017, the trial court sentenced Craw to four
years' incarceration on count one and 36 months'
incarceration on Count Two for an aggregate term of seven
years' imprisonment. (Doc. No. 361).
On September 12, 2017, Craw filed a notice of appeal. (Doc.
No. 376). He raises three assignments of error, which we
of Error No. I
search warrant was not supported by probable cause.
of Error No. II
search warrant was overbroad.
of Error No. III
Defendant's statements were made without the required
Each of Craw's three assignments of error maintains that
the trial court erred in denying his motions to suppress.
Accordingly, this court will assess each of Craw's
assignments of error under the same standard of review.
A review of the denial of a motion to suppress involves mixed
questions of law and fact. State v. Burnside, 100
Ohio St.3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372, ¶ 8. At a suppression
hearing, the trial court assumes the role of trier of fact
and, as such, is in the best position to evaluate the
evidence and the credibility of witnesses. Id. See also
State v. Carter,72 Ohio St.3d 545, 552 (1995). When
reviewing a ruling on a motion to suppress, "an
appellate court must accept the trial court's findings of
fact if they are supported by competent, credible
evidence." Burnside at ¶ 8, citing
State v. Fanning,1 Ohio St.3d 19 (1982). With
respect to the trial court's conclusions of law, however,
our standard ...