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State v. Davis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

May 7, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
ANTHONY W. DAVIS Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 16CR093262

          GIOVANNA V. SCALETTA-BREMKE, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DENNIS WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          DONNA J. CARR, Judge.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant Anthony W. Davis appeals from the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} In connection with a homicide, Davis was indicted on two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of tampering with evidence, and two counts of having weapons while under disability. The murder and felonious assault counts each included a firearm and repeat violent offender specification. The charge for tampering with evidence included two accompanying firearm specifications. Ultimately, the State dismissed one of the firearm specifications accompanying the tampering with evidence charge.

         {¶3} Davis filed a motion to suppress alleging that police elicited his initial statements without providing the warnings set forth in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Thus, Davis argued that his later post-Miranda statements were also inadmissible as fruit of the poisonous tree. The State opposed the motion and a hearing was held. The trial court issued a journal entry overruling the motion to suppress. The trial court found the officer's testimony credible and concluded that the public safety exception applied. Thus, the trial court determined that the officer's initial questioning inquiring about a weapon did not require Miranda warnings.

         {¶4} The matter proceeded to a jury trial. Davis was found guilty of the charges and specifications in the indictment and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 25 years to life in prison.

         {¶5} Davis has appealed, raising a single assignment of error for our review.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS BECAUSE THE INITIAL QUESTIONING OF DEFENDANT-APPELLANT ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION AND IS SUBJECT TO MIRANDA. (Emphasis added.)

         {¶6} Davis argues in his sole assignment of error that the trial court erred in failing to suppress Davis' statements. Specifically, he maintains that the police officers were required to Mirandize him prior to asking him about whether he had any weapons. Additionally, Davis asserts that the trial court's factual finding concerning what was asked of Davis was not supported by competent, credible evidence. Davis asserts that, during the initial questioning, he was asked where the gun was and maintains the trial court's finding that Davis was asked if he had any weapons was not based on credible ...


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