FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 2013 06 1690
M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
J. CARR, JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellant Brian Dennis appeals from the judgment of
the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.
On June 22, 2013, police located a vehicle that had been
reported stolen at a residence in Akron. The resident of the
home informed police that the person they were looking for
was in the back. Police found Dennis in a back bedroom. When
Dennis was arrested, police found a loaded .45 caliber
handgun on the bed where Dennis had been seated. Upon
searching Dennis, police found a substance that was
determined to be cocaine in his pocket, and, upon searching
the vehicle, police found a substance determined to be heroin
and a scale.
Dennis was indicted on one count of possession of heroin, one
count of possession of cocaine, one count of having weapons
while under disability, and one count of receiving stolen
property. Dennis filed a motion to suppress and a hearing was
held. The trial court denied the motion in a brief entry. The
matter proceeded to a jury trial. The jury found Dennis not
guilty of receiving stolen property but guilty of the
remainder of the charges. The trial court sentenced Dennis to
an aggregate term of three years.
Dennis appealed and this Court reversed the trial court's
decision concluding that the trial court's failure to
make findings of fact with respect to its ruling on the
motion to suppress hindered our review. State v.
Dennis, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27692, 2016-Ohio-8136,
¶ 6. We therefore remanded the matter for the trial
court to set forth factual findings with respect to its
ruling on the motion to suppress. Id. Upon remand
the trial court issued an entry ruling on the motion to
suppress that included factual findings. Dennis has again
appealed, raising two assignments of error for our review.
OF ERROR I
TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION TO
Dennis argues in his first assignment of error that the trial
court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Specifically,
he asserts that the trial court erred in determining that
Dennis did not have standing to file a motion to suppress and
in concluding that the officer received consent to enter the
residence. Because we conclude the trial court did not err in
concluding that Dennis did not possess an expectation of
privacy in the premises, we need not address the issue of
A motion to suppress evidence presents a mixed question of
law and fact. State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152,
2003-Ohio-5372, ¶ 8. "When considering a motion to
suppress, the trial court assumes the role of trier of fact
and is therefore in the best position to resolve factual
questions and evaluate the credibility of witnesses."
Id., citing State v. Mills, 62 Ohio St.3d
357, 366 (1992). Thus, a reviewing court "must accept
the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported
by competent, credible evidence." Burnside at
¶ 8. "Accepting these facts as true, the appellate
court must then independently determine, without deference to
the conclusion of the trial court, whether the facts satisfy
the applicable legal standard." Id., citing
State v. McNamara, 124 Ohio App.3d 706 (4th
"The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
and Section 14, Article I of the Ohio Constitution secure an
individual's right to be free from unreasonable searches
and seizures." State v. Hoang, 9th Dist. Medina
No. 11CA0013-M, 2012-Ohio-3741, ¶ 39, quoting State
v. Moore, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 20198, 2004-Ohio-3783,
¶ 10. "The United States Supreme Court has found
that the 'capacity to claim the protection of the Fourth
Amendment depends * * * upon whether the person who claims
the protection of the Amendment has a legitimate expectation
of privacy in the invaded place.'" Hoang at
¶ 39, quoting Minnesota v. Olson,495 U.S. 91,
95 (1990). "The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted this
rule of law and generally refers to an individual's
'legitimate expectation of privacy' as having
'standing' to bring such an action."
Hoang at ¶ 39, fn. 1, citing State v.
Williams,73 Ohio St.3d 153, 166 (1995). "Such an