from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CRB
Alex Smith for Appellant.
Richard H. Palau for Appellee.
Defendant-appellant, Tonia Dukes ("Dukes"), appeals
the November 29, 2017 judgment of the Tiffin-Fostoria
Municipal Court journalizing her theft conviction by a jury.
For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
and Procedural History
On July 28, 2017, Elizabeth Miller ("Miller"), an
"Asset Protection Associate" with Wal-Mart,
observed Dukes, along with Lester Miller
("Lester"), exit the perfume aisle. Miller noticed
several boxes of high-dollar perfume hidden under a pillow in
the cart being pushed by Lester. Miller decided to follow
Dukes and Lester throughout the store.
Miller followed the couple to the boy's department.
There, she observed Dukes remove the perfume from their
boxes. Miller also observed another female, Kay Rauch
("Rauch"), join Dukes and Lester at this time.
Miller saw Dukes remove four perfume bottles from their boxes
and hand the bottles to Rauch. Rauch, in turn, concealed the
perfume bottles into her purse.
Thereafter, Miller followed Rauch throughout Wal-Mart,
approaching her when Rauch passed the "last point of
sale" near the grocery doors, identifying herself as
Wal-Mart security. Rauch dropped her purse and ran from the
store. Thereupon, Miller contacted Tiffin Police Department
to report the theft in which Dukes and Rauch were implicated.
Ultimately, Dukes was charged with theft, in violation of
R.C. 2913.02(A)(1), for her involvement with Rauch. Dukes
pled not guilty to the charge in the trial court.
On November 29, 2017, a jury trial was held in the trial
court. Miller testified for the prosecution, along with
Officer Kyle Illig. The testimony of Officer Illig included
the statement he obtained from Rauch implicating Dukes in the
theft. The state also introduced a video from Wal-Mart of the
incident. Rauch testified in Duke's defense, testifying
that she was "high on marijuana" at the time she
gave her statement to the Tiffin officers that arrested her
and Dukes at Wal-Mart. Rauch refuted her statement (given to
police) at trial and testified that she was the sole person
that took the perfume from Wal-Mart. Dukes did not testify.
Ultimately, the jury found Dukes guilty of theft.
The trial court sentenced Dukes to serve 180 days in jail and
to pay a fine of $150.00, however, the trial court suspended
90 days of the jail time. The trial court also placed Dukes
on probation for a period of three years.
Dukes now appeals, asserting the following assignments of