Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland
from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee: GARY BISHOP RICHLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR
JOSEPH C. SNYDER
Defendant-Appellant: JAMES L. BLUNT, II
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Earle
E. Wise, Jr., J.
Defendant-Appellant Kevin A. Black appeals the July 14, 2017
judgment entry of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas
denying his motion to suppress.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Defendant-Appellant Kevin A. Black was arrested on February
20, 2017 based on a traffic stop of his vehicle. Black was
then indicted on five counts: 1) Improperly Handling Firearms
in a Motor Vehicle, a fourth-degree felony in violation of
R.C. 2923.16(B); 2) Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor
Vehicle, a fourth-degree felony in violation of R.C.
2923.16(D)(1); 3) Illegal Conveyance of Drugs of Abuse onto
the Grounds of a Specified Governmental Facility, a
third-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2921.36(A)(2); 4)
Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a fourth-degree felony in
violation of R.C. 2923.12(A)(2); and 5) Carrying a Concealed
Weapon, a fourth-degree felony in violation of R.C.
Black filed a motion to suppress on June 26, 2017. In his
motion, he argued there was no probable cause or reasonable
grounds to stop, detain, and search him or his vehicle on
February 20, 2017. On July 7, 2017, the trial court held a
hearing on Black's motion. At the hearing, Black only
argued there was no probable cause or reasonable grounds to
stop his vehicle pursuant to a violation of R.C. 4511.33.
The State presented the testimony of Trooper Robert Warner.
On February 20, 2017, Trooper Warner of the Ohio State
Highway Patrol was on patrol in Richland County, Ohio. (T.
4). He was traveling south on Trimble Road in a marked patrol
car at approximately 12:00 a.m. (T. 6). At the time, the
roadway was dark and there was intermittent rain. (T. 7).
Trooper Warner was stopped at a red light at the intersection
of Trimble and McPherson. His vehicle was the first at the
intersection. (T. 7). While stopped at the intersection,
Trooper Warner observed Black's pick-up truck turn right
from a gas station onto Trimble Road. (T. 7). When the light
turned green, Trooper Warner proceeded on Trimble Road and
travelled directly behind Black's vehicle. As Black's
vehicle traveled up a hill on Trimble Road, Trooper Warner
observed Black commit a left-of-center violation. (T. 8).
Trooper Warner saw a portion of the vehicle's
driver's side tire cross the right side of the center
double yellow line, but not fully cross the double yellow
line. (T. 11, 18). The vehicle's driver's side mirror
was over the double yellow line. (T. 13). Trooper Warner
activated his overhead lights and initiated a traffic stop
based on the left-of-center violation. (T. 8). Exhibit 1, the
video recording from Trooper Warner's patrol car of the
alleged violation and traffic stop, was played at trial. (T.
9). No other evidence was presented.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court stated on
the record that it observed on the dash cam video that
Black's tire crossed the double yellow centerline and the
driver's side mirror extended further than the tire. (T.
24). It found that Trooper Warner had reasonable cause to
stop Black for a left-of-center violation.
On July 14, 2017, the trial court journalized its decision to
deny Black's motion to suppress.
Black entered a plea of no contest to Count 2, Count 3, and
Count 5 and the trial court found him guilty. The trial court
sentenced Black to three years ...