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State v. Ramsey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

June 18, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
ROBERT J. RAMSEY Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017CR00231

          For Plaintiff-Appellee DANIEL J. BENOIT

          For Defendant-Appellant JAMES A. ANZELMO

          Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, Earle, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-Appellant, Robert J. Ramsey, appeals his September 11, 2017 conviction by the Court of Common Pleas of Licking County, Ohio. Plaintiff-Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On March 22, 2017, officers with the adult parole authority were investigating reports of the unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine involving two of their parolees, Douglas Johnson and Douglas Baumgartner. The officers went to a property owned by Mr. Johnson. The property contained a structure occupied by Mr. Johnson, another structure occupied by Mr. Baumgartner, and a third structure which was a cabin. The officers were accompanied by law enforcement due to the nature of the investigation. Several police officers were present at the scene, including Licking County Sheriff Detectives Greg Collins and Alan Thomas. Also present on the property at the time were appellant and his wife. Mr. Johnson had offered appellant and his wife the opportunity to rent the cabin in the future in exchange for cleaning and fixing up the dwelling. Supplies used to manufacture methamphetamine were found inside the cabin. Several individuals were arrested, including appellant.

         {¶ 3} On March 30, 2017, the Licking County Grand Jury indicted appellant on one count of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11, one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.041, one count of having a weapon while under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13, and one count of illegal manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.04.

         {¶ 4} Prior to trial, appellant requested a polygraph examination and stipulated to its admissibility.

         {¶ 5} A bench trial was scheduled for July 26, 2017. On the morning of trial, appellant pled guilty to the possession and disability counts. The remaining charges proceeded to trial. The trial court found appellant guilty as charged.

         {¶ 6} Prior to sentencing, appellant filed a motion to dismiss his counsel, claiming his counsel was ineffective. The trial court denied the motion. By judgment entry filed September 11, 2017, the trial court sentenced appellant to an aggregate term of five years in prison.

         {¶ 7} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. Assignments of error are as follows:

         I

         {¶ 8} "THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION TO FIND RAMSEY GUILTY ON THE OFFENSES OF ILLEGAL ASSEMBLY OR POSSESSION OF CHEMICALS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF DRUGS AND ILLEGAL MANUFACTURE OF DRUGS IS BASED ON INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE, IN VIOLATION OF THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTIONS 1 & 16, ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

         II

         {¶ 9} "THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION TO FIND RAMSEY GUILTY ON THE OFFENSES OF ILLEGAL ASSEMBLY OR POSSESSION OF CHEMICALS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF DRUGS AND ILLEGAL MANUFACTURE OF DRUGS IS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE IN VIOLATION OF THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTIONS 1 & 16, ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

         III

         {¶ 10} "RAMSEY RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTION 10, ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

         IV

         {¶ 11} "THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY DENYING RAMSEY'S MOTION TO DISMISS HIS TRIAL COUNSEL, IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTION 10, ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

         I, II

         {¶ 12} In his first two assignments of error, appellant claims his convictions for the illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and the illegal manufacture of drugs were against the sufficiency and manifest weight of the evidence. We disagree.

         {¶ 13} On review for sufficiency, a reviewing court is to examine the evidence at trial to determine whether such evidence, if believed, would support a conviction. State v. Jenks,61 Ohio St.3d 259, 574 N.E.2d 492 (1991). "The relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. ...


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