Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

June 15, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
WAYMON JONES Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case Nos. 16-CR-2227, 2015-CR-2564

          MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by HEATHER N. JANS, Atty. Reg. No. 0084470, and MICHAEL J. SCARPELLI, Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee

          JEFFREY T. GRAMZA, Atty. Reg. No. 0053392, 101 Southmoor Circle NW, Kettering, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant


          HALL, JUDGE

         {¶ 1} This matter comes before us on two consolidated appeals by defendant-appellant Waymon Jones, Jr.

         {¶ 2} In appellate case number 27506, Jones appeals from his conviction and sentence on one count of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of having a weapon while under disability, and two firearm specifications. In appellate case number 27507, Jones appeals from the trial court's revocation of community-control sanctions and its imposition of an eleven-month prison sentence.

         {¶ 3} Although Jones has appealed from two judgments, his appellate brief does not address the community-control case. With regard to the homicide case, he advances two assignments of error. First, he challenges the legal sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence to support his conviction on the two felonious assault counts. Second, he contends the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress photo-identification evidence.

         {¶ 4} The charges against Jones stemmed from a shooting that occurred on the evening of July 8, 2016. Jones was a passenger in a car driven by a friend, Rontae Peaks. They were planning to meet two other people, Erwin Briggs and Joshua Cohen, at a residence on Leland Avenue to spend the evening together. Peaks and Jones arrived first after stopping to purchase alcohol and a bottle of "SoBe" drink. Briggs attempted to drive Cohen to the location, but they had trouble finding it. Cohen became frustrated and had several telephone conversations with Jones about the meeting place. When Briggs and Cohen finally arrived around dusk, an argument ensued. Briggs and Peaks testified at trial that Cohen exited the car and confronted Jones about the directions that had been provided. Threats were exchanged, and Jones pulled a handgun from his pants. Peaks described the weapon as a semi-automatic, nine-millimeter with an extended magazine. Briggs and Peaks both testified that Jones proceeded to fire a number of shots at Cohen, who was struck multiple times. He collapsed in the street and later died at the hospital. Peaks testified that Jones was drunk and "shooting at everybody." Peaks recalled seeing Jones fire at Briggs. Peaks also testified that he heard bullets going past his own head as he ran away. For his part, Briggs testified that he ran away after Jones fired a shot at him. As Briggs ran, he heard Jones fire several more shots.

         {¶ 5} Shortly after the shooting stopped, Briggs and Peaks returned to the scene. When police arrived, Jones was gone. Peaks identified Jones as the perpetrator and provided a detective with a picture of Jones from his cell phone. Briggs subsequently viewed a photospread at the police department and circled Jones' picture. At that time, he described the certainty of his identification as being seven and one-half to eight out of ten. At trial, Briggs claimed he really was absolutely certain but wanted to "keep it in the street" and deal with Jones himself. On cross examination, Briggs admitted telling police and the 911 dispatcher that he did not know who had shot Cohen. He also claimed that he had identified Jones in the photospread as someone he had seen in the neighborhood, not necessarily as the shooter. On redirect examination, however, Briggs acknowledged telling the police officer administering the photospread: "I want to say it's him." Briggs made this statement in reference to Jones' picture, and he meant that he wanted to say it was Jones who had done the shooting. (Tr. Vol. II at 441).

         {¶ 6} Investigators recovered ten shell casings from the scene. The nine-millimeter casings were located in a grassy area, on a sidewalk, and in the street. (Tr. Vol. III at 567). A detective searching the area used a flashlight because it was dark outside. (Tr. Vol. IV at 641). Testing established that all of the shell casings were fired from the same weapon. Witness Dayza Snow testified that she been "trying to get into a relationship" with Jones in July 2016. She recalled him having a nine-millimeter handgun at her apartment the day before the shooting. According to Snow, it was stored in a kitchen cabinet above her refrigerator. While she was out with Jones the evening before the shooting, he wanted to return to her apartment to get the gun. She refused, and the two parted company. Snow later returned to her apartment to find her patio door broken and the gun gone.

         {¶ 7} During their investigation, police found Jones' fingerprints and DNA on a SoBe drink bottle left at the shooting scene, and his fingerprint was found on the passenger door of the car driven by Peaks. In addition, Briggs and Peaks both testified about Jones making telephone calls to them after his arrest. Peaks testified that Jones tried to pay him not to come to court. Briggs testified that Jones asked whether he was going to appear in court and testify.

         {¶ 8} Based on the evidence presented, a jury found Jones guilty of all of the charges and specifications against him. After merging several counts and specifications for purposes of sentencing, the trial court imposed an aggregate sentence of forty years to life. It also imposed a consecutive sentence of eleven months for violating community control sanctions in a prior case. It imposed a second consecutive sentence of fifteen months for violating post-release control in yet another case. The combined result was a total prison term of forty-two years and two months to life. (Doc. #132 at 2).

         {¶ 9} In his first assignment of error, Jones challenges the legal sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence to support two felonious-assault convictions.

         {¶ 10} Jones was convicted of felonious assault for causing or attempting to cause physical harm to Peaks and Briggs with a deadly weapon. To obtain the convictions, the Stated relied primarily on the testimony of Peaks and Briggs, both of whom testified that Jones fired shots at them after shooting Cohen. Jones argues, however, that the testimony of Peaks and Briggs is inconsistent and lacks credibility. He asserts that the two men "contradict one another and themselves multiple times" and that their testimony "flouts common sense." Jones also contends the physical evidence does not support a finding that he shot at Peaks and Briggs. He notes that investigators found ten shell casings at the scene and that Cohen's autopsy revealed entrance wounds from at least eight and possibly nine different bullets.[1] According to Jones, that leaves at most two unaccounted-for bullets that could have been fired at Peaks and Briggs, who claimed that he fired multiple shots at each of them. Jones contends he could not have ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.