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State v. Greene

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

August 1, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
BRANDON C. GREENE Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-2016-07-2472

          NEIL P. AGARWAL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          THOMAS A. TEODOSIO, JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant, Brandon Greene, appeals from his convictions in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms in part and reverses in part.

         I.

         {¶2} Mr. Greene is the cousin of C.G., the victim in this matter. One Sunday morning, C.G. drove to the house of Mr. Greene's mother (i.e., C.G.'s aunt) to speak with her about a familial matter. The two had engaged in a heated exchange several days earlier when C.G. had accused his other aunt, R.G., of pilfering items from his deceased father's house. On his Sunday morning visit, C.G. intended to address the disagreement and clear the air in light of his father's impending funeral.

         {¶3} Mr. Greene's mother was standing in her garage when C.G. arrived, parked his car at the bottom of her driveway, and walked up to her. The two spoke briefly with accounts varying as to whether their exchange was peaceful. At its conclusion, C.G. turned to leave and began walking back to his car. He stopped partway, however, because Mr. Greene emerged from the house and confronted him. Accounts varied with respect to who was present for their exchange. According to C.G., Mr. Greene was accompanied by his aunt, R.G., and his ex-girlfriend, B.W. Others indicated that B.W. remained in the house during the confrontation.

         {¶4} As a result of the confrontation between Mr. Greene and C.G., C.G. sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen and fell to the ground. C.G. testified at trial that Mr. Greene shot him. Likewise, while receiving treatment at the hospital, he told several different police officers that Mr. Greene had shot him. He admitted, however, that in between the time of his initial identification and his trial testimony to the same effect, he changed his statement and told the prosecutor's office that R.G. had shot him. By that point in time, R.G. had passed away, and other members of their family, including Mr. Greene's mother, were claiming that R.G. had shot C.G. When naming Mr. Greene as the shooter at trial, C.G. indicated that he was hesitant to implicate his cousin, but had decided to be truthful in the end.

         {¶5} C.G. did not see what happened to the gun that Mr. Greene used to shoot him, but a nearby neighbor saw what happened after the gunshot rang out. Specifically, the neighbor called 911 and reported that he saw a black male crawling on the ground and a second black male with a gun. He then saw a black female in a long-sleeve gray shirt take the gun from the second black male, run into the backyard, and hide the gun. When the police investigated the wooded area at the back of the property, they found the gun used to shoot C.G. There was testimony that Mr. Greene's ex-girlfriend, B.W., matched the description of the female that the neighbor saw hiding the gun.

         {¶6} A grand jury indicted Mr. Greene on two counts of felonious assault and one count of having a weapon under disability. Both felonious assault counts also carried an attendant firearm specification and a repeat violent offender specification. A jury heard all of Mr. Greene's charges and specifications with the exception of his repeat violent offender specifications. Mr. Greene elected to try those specifications to the bench. Accordingly, after the jury found him guilty on all counts, the court heard evidence on the repeat violent offender specifications. The court then found that Mr. Greene was a repeat violent offender.

         {¶7} The court determined that Mr. Greene's felonious assault counts, as well as the specifications linked to those counts, were allied offenses of similar import. Consequently, it merged his felonious assault counts and their attendant specifications for purposes of sentencing. The court then sentenced Mr. Greene to a total of 15 years in prison.

         {¶8} Mr. Greene now appeals from his convictions and raises two ...


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