from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Michael P. Walton, for
Stavroff Law Firm, and Jeffrey T Stavroff for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Jonathon B. Hart, appeals
from a judgment entry of the Franklin County Court of Common
Pleas finding him guilty, pursuant to jury verdict, of one
count of aggravated burglary, two counts of robbery, one
count of theft, one count of receiving stolen property, one
count of tampering with evidence, and one count of
kidnapping. For the following reasons, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
2} By indictment filed January 20, 2017,
plaintiff-appellee, State of Ohio, charged Hart with one
count of aggravated burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.11, a
first-degree felony; one count of robbery in violation of
R.C. 2911.02, a second-degree felony; one count of robbery in
violation of R.C. 2911.02, a third-degree felony; one count
of theft in violation of R.C. 2913.02, a fifth-degree felony;
one count of receiving stolen property in violation of R.C.
2913.51, a fifth-degree felony; one count of tampering with
evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12, a third-degree felony;
and one count of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01, a
first-degree felony. The charges related to a home invasion
that occurred in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus.
The state had previously indicted Damien C. Summers as a
codefendant. Hart entered a plea of not guilty.
3} On the same day that the state filed the
indictment against Hart, Summers entered into a plea
agreement with the state wherein he agreed to enter a guilty
plea to one count of aggravated burglary and one count of
tampering with evidence in exchange for a nolle prosequi on
the other charges. The trial court sentenced Summers to a
four-year term of imprisonment and ordered Summers to testify
truthfully against any indicted codefendant, journalizing his
convictions and sentence in a January 25, 2017 judgment
entry. State v. Summers, Franklin C.P. No. 16CR-2295
(Jan. 25, 2017).
4} At Hart's jury trial commencing July 18,
2017, David Pando testified that he was alone in his
apartment at 53½ Price Avenue during the early morning
hours of March 27, 2016 when he heard knocking and hollering
at his door. Pando initially ignored the knocking, assuming
the noise was coming from patrons from nearby bars, and fell
asleep. However, Pando said he woke abruptly to find two men
whom he had never seen before standing in his living room.
One of the men held Pando down and put a blanket on him,
placing an object against Pando's body and threatening to
hurt him if Pando resisted. The man restraining Pando yelled
"I'm going to blow your brains out if you
move." (July 18, 2017 Tr. Vol. I at 27.) While the one
man restrained Pando, the other man proceeded to steal
Pando's property, including two flat screen televisions,
a computer monitor, a watch, a wallet with credit cards, and
5} Pando testified the two men wore all-black
clothing and said he never saw their faces. Pando said the
man holding him down was shorter than the other man, wore
leather gloves, and had a southern "twangy" accent.
(Tr. Vol. I at 52.) Pando testified he had tried to bite the
man's fingers but was unsuccessful because of the gloves.
6} As the men were leaving the apartment, Pando said
they grabbed a laptop computer, too. Pando testified he
begged the men to leave the laptop and the men complied. The
man who had restrained Pando told Pando to remain still.
Pando said he arose minutes later, still under the blanket
and "shaking like crazy" because he was so
terrified. (Tr. Vol. I at 31.) Because the men had taken his
phone, Pando had no way to call police. Pando said he looked
out his window and saw two men loading equipment into a
minivan before driving away. Pando then drove to his
girlfriend's house in German Village where he called 911.
7} Kathy Zimmer, a detective with the Columbus
Division of Police, testified that during the course of the
investigation, Summers appeared on police's radar.
Through conversations with Pando, detectives determined that
Summers had recently been inside Pando's home as an
assistant to a maintenance technician, Jim Abbott, who was
doing repairs to Pando's apartment. The assistant had a
southern "twang" similar to the person who
burglarized and threatened Pando, and the repairs occurred a
few days before the home invasion.
8} Abbott testified that he formerly employed both
Summers and Hart. Abbott confirmed that Summers had
accompanied him to Pando's apartment a few days before
the home invasion. Additionally, Abbott ...