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State v. Andrews

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 2, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
ARION D. ANDREWS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-610660-A

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark A. Stanton Cuyahoga County Public Defender John T. Martin Assistant Public Defender

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brian D. Kraft Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., McCormack, J., and Laster Mays, J.

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Arion Andrews ("Andrews"), appeals his convictions. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} In October 2016, Andrews was charged in a 16-count indictment. Counts 1-13 related to a shooting incident on March 8, 2016, and Counts 14-16 related to a shooting incident on April 27, 2016. Counts 1 and 16 charged him with the discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises. Counts 2 and 3 charged him with the improper discharge of a firearm at or into a habitation or school. Counts 4-6 and 14-15 charged him with felonious assault. Counts 7-13 charged him with criminal damaging or endangering.[1] Prior to trial, Andrews sought to suppress the evidence found in his vehicle and at his home. The trial court granted the motion with respect to the evidence found in his vehicle. The trial court denied the motion to suppress as it pertained to evidence found at Andrews's home.

         {¶3} Andrews waived his right to a jury trial, and the matter proceeded before the bench. Andrews was convicted of crimes relating only to the March 8, 2016 incident, which was captured on video. The following relevant evidence was adduced at trial.

         {¶4} During the evening hours of March 8, 2016, at Addison Townhomes, two unknown males were shot at while standing outside the complex. The complex is a Cuyahoga Metropolitian Housing Authority ("CMHA") property located on Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. The video depicts three males firing in the direction of the complex. Some of the gunshots traversed a public road. Other bullets entered multiple vehicles and two residences. One of the males was using an automatic rifle, and the other two males were firing handguns. Witnesses reported to the police that Andrews was seen in the area at the time of the shooting. The video depicts the perpetrators arriving on scene, on foot, from the direction of Andrews's home and later running away from the scene towards Andrews's home. Andrews lived approximately two blocks away from the complex.

         {¶5} Police found multiple casings on scene. Thirteen of these casings, which were swabbed for DNA, were of a caliber associated with an AK-47 type weapon. DNA testing revealed Andrews's DNA on all of these casings.

         {¶6} CMHA police interviewed Andrews on two occasions in March 2016. During the course of the interviews, CMHA police learned that Andrews's mother had been shot by unknown parties within 24 hours prior to the shooting at the Addison complex. Andrews suspected that Saquan Johnson shot his mother. After Andrews was confronted by the police with the DNA evidence on the 13 shell casings found on scene, Andrews stated that he loaded the clip for the weapon and gave it to his friends who were going to "ride for him." Andrews stated that "ride for him" meant that his friends would go get the guys who did this to his mother. Andrews initially stated that he loaded the gun, but then changed it to only loading the clip.

         {¶7} Based on Andrews's statements to the police, the state theorized that Andrews retaliated against Saquan Johnson and the Hough Harlem gang members because he felt that they were responsible for shooting at his mother. Andrews believed that the Hough Harlem gang members gathered at the Addison complex.

         {¶8} After the conclusion of trial, the state dismissed Count 5, and nolled Counts 7, 8, 10, 12, and 13, and the trial court dismissed the furthermore clause attached to Count 9. The trial court denied Andrews's Crim.R. 29 motion with regard to Counts 1-4, 6, 9, 11, and 14-16. The trial court then found Andrews guilty, on complicity grounds, of Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11.[2] The trial court found Andrews not guilty of Count 6 and Counts 14-16. The trial court then sentenced Andrews to an aggregate of seven years in prison.

         {¶9} Andrews now appeals, raising the following five assignments of error for review, which shall be discussed together where appropriate.

Assignment of Error One
The warranted search of [Andrews's] purported residence - which revealed the banana clip and which prompted his incriminating statements in the second interview - was based on a search warrant lacking probable cause.
Assignment of Error Two
There was insufficient evidence to support the conviction in Count 4 - felonious assault of [Perry Fullum].
Assignment of Error Three
There was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of [Andrews] ...

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