Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common
Pleas. Case No. 2016 CR 00604.
Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor; Ashleigh Musick and
Diane Barber, Assistant Prosecutors, (For
Michael A. Partlow, Kent, (For Defendant-Appellant).
TIMOTHY P. CANNON, J.
Appellant, Joseph Anthony Leasock, appeals from the July 5,
2017 entry on sentence of the Trumbull County Court of Common
Pleas. Appellant was found guilty of Robbery after a jury
trial. Appellant contends his conviction was against the
manifest weight of the evidence. For the following reasons,
the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
On September 12, 2016, appellant was indicted by the Trumbull
County Grand Jury of one count of Robbery, a second-degree
felony in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(2). He entered a plea
of not guilty.
A superseding indictment filed on January 4, 2017, included a
repeat violent offender specification pursuant to R.C.
2941.149 with the Robbery charge. Appellant again entered a
plea of not guilty.
The matter proceeded to a jury trial on March 20, 2017. The
jury found appellant guilty of Robbery.
At trial, Anthony Palozzo testified he operates a business
out of his residence and lives with his girlfriend, Heather,
and two German Shepherds, "Shultz" and
"Chloe." On July 21, 2016, John Serratta paid him
an unexpected visit at his residence. Mr. Palozzo testified
he gave Mr. Serratta a $50 bill to go buy a 12-pack of beer.
Mr. Palozzo explained he had "probably a couple thousand
dollars" in his left pants pocket. The money was both
personal and for his business, and he testified Mr. Serratta
saw all the money. Mr. Serratta returned with "35 or 38
bucks." After drinking a few beers, Mr. Serratta
indicated he would come back later to play pool.
At around 9:30 p.m., Mr. Serratta returned with appellant,
Robert Brian Leasock ("Brian"), and an unidentified
female. Appellant and Brian played pool, while Mr. Palozzo
talked to Mr. Serratta. Mr. Palozzo testified the
unidentified female remained outside with "Chloe."
Sometime later, appellant, Brian, and Mr. Serratta were
outside smoking cigarettes and talking about "beating
people up and robbing people." Mr. Palozzo testified he
was standing in the doorway and announced he was going to
bed. Mr. Palozzo testified Brian then threatened him and
began coming up the steps to the doorway. Mr. Palozzo
attempted to shut the door, but the door was pushed open. Mr.
Palozzo testified he fell backwards, and Brian grabbed him.
Appellant took off Mr. Palozzo's glasses and threw them,
and appellant and Brian punched him in the face. Mr. Palozzo
broke away, but Brian grabbed him from behind and attempted
to pull him down to the ground, while appellant punched him
in the face. When appellant and Brian could not get Mr.
Palozzo to the ground, appellant stated they would have to
kill him. Brian continued to restrain Mr. Palozzo, while
appellant searched through his shirt pocket. Mr. Palozzo
testified they ripped his shirt pocket. They took
approximately $40 and pulled his cell phone from his pocket.
When "Shultz" came around the corner, the attack
stopped, and appellant and Brian left. After appellant and
Brian left, Mr. Palozzo testified he could not find
"Chloe" and thought they had taken her. He further
testified he sustained an injury to his nose and bruising
over his arms, chest, and face from the attack. He did not go
to the hospital but took Advil to relieve the pain from the
Mr. Palozzo testified he woke up Heather, and she called 911.
The recording of the 911 call was entered into evidence and
played for the jury. Mr. Palozzo testified he did not know
the last names of appellant and Brian but was able to confirm
their identities by making phone calls and looking at
pictures on Facebook. Mr. Palozzo testified he reported to
police that appellant and Brian took money from him and that
his cell phone and dog were missing. The police took photos
of Mr. Palozzo's injuries, and those photos were shown to
the jury and entered into evidence.
Mr. Palozzo testified that, sometime after the police left,
he found his phone under a shelf, approximately 15 to 20 feet
away from where the incident occurred. Mr. Palozzo testified
no part of the struggle took place near where the phone was
found. "Chloe" was also found.
On cross-examination, Mr. Palozzo testified that appellant
and Brian went through his shirt pocket. Defense counsel
entered the police report of the incident into evidence. When
shown the report, ...