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State v. Young

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 2, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
RICARDO YOUNG DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-608482-B

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ruth R. Fischbein-Cohen

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Sarah Denney Zachary Humphrey Assistant County Prosecutors

          BEFORE: Laster Mays, J., E.T. Gallagher, P.J., and Jones, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Ricardo Young ("Young") appeals his bench trial convictions for various drug-related charges. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Background and Facts

         {¶2} On July 31, 2016, at approximately 4:00 a.m., officers from the Third District of the Cleveland Police Department were dispatched to the parking lot of Rally's Drive-in Restaurant ("Rally's") located at the three-way intersection of East 55th Street, Woodland Avenue, and Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. A male with a silver Chrysler was reportedly standing in the Rally's parking lot waving a gun. Police were not provided with a description of the male.

         {¶3} The vehicle was no longer at Rally's when officers arrived. There are several gas stations at the intersection that are open throughout the night and the area garners significant police attention. The officers observed several males standing by a silver Dodge Charger, a car that is similar in appearance to a Chrysler, at the Shell gas station across the street from Rally's. Two males entered the vehicle and left the station. Officers followed the vehicle and were checking the license plate registration when they observed a traffic violation when the Dodge Charger moved from the right lane into the left lane without signaling, and then moved back into the right-hand lane.

         {¶4} Officers pulled over the vehicle, detected the odor of marijuana when approaching the car and observed suspected marijuana in plain view sitting in the open console of the vehicle. Young, the driver, and his cousin, passenger Samuel Williams ("Williams"), each had a gun laying in open view on the floor by their feet. Both occupants possessed carry concealed weapons permits ("CCW permits"). Young and Williams were detained and the vehicle searched. Officers discovered suspected marijuana, a white substance suspected to be heroin, plastic sandwich bags, cellular telephones, and two firearms. Young also had approximately $500 in cash. The license plate was registered to a rental car agency and was rented by Young's sister. Young and Williams were arrested and indicted.

         {¶5} In State v. Young, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-16-608482-B ("Young I "), Young was indicted for: drug trafficking, R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), a felony of the fourth degree, with a one year firearm specification, R.C. 2941.141 and forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; drug possession, R.C. 2925.11(A), a felony of the fifth degree, with a one year firearm specification, R.C.2941.141, and forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; trafficking, R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), a felony of the fifth degree, with a one year firearm specification under R.C. 2941.141, and forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; possessing criminal tools, R.C. 2923.24(A), a felony of the fifth degree, with forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417.[1]

         {¶6} In State v. Williams, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-16-608482-A, Williams was indicted for two counts of drug trafficking, R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), one count of drug possession, R.C. 2925.11(A), and one count of possessing criminal tools, R.C. 2923.24(A). At the bench trial held on March 13, 2017, Williams testified that he was employed, a navy veteran, and did not sell drugs. Williams was found not guilty of all charges. Young was convicted of all charges and was sentenced to one year in prison for the firearm specifications and one year of probation for the underlying crimes. Young timely appeals.

         II. Assignments of Error

         {¶7} Young poses four assignments of error:

I. The police searched and seized Young in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
II. The verdicts in this case, for the same crime and facts, were disproportionate and violated Young's due process rights.
III. Young's conviction is against the manifest weight of the evidence.
IV. The trial court failed to make the proper analysis regarding whether the convicted counts were allied offenses of similar import and subject to merger at sentencing ...

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