Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case Nos. CR-17-623203-A and CR-18-626086-A
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Kristen Hatcher, Assistant Prosecuting
Attorney, for appellee.
& Sidoti, L.L.P., and Mary Catherine Corrigan, for
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, JUDGE.
1} Defendant-appellant, Christopher Dansby-East, appeals from
the trial court's judgments finding him guilty of having
weapons while under disability, drug trafficking, drug
possession, and vandalism, and sentencing him to five years
in prison. Finding no merit to the appeal, we affirm.
2} In December 2017, Dansby-East was indicted in Cuyahoga
C.P. No. CR-17-623203 with one count of having weapons while
under disability, one count of carrying a concealed weapon,
and one count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor
vehicle, all with a gun forfeiture specification. Dansby-East
was indicted after a city of Euclid police officer pulled him
over for a window tint violation. Upon approaching the
vehicle, the officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana, and
Dansby-East admitted to the officer that there was a loaded
weapon under the driver's seat of the car. The police
also found marijuana in the console.
3} Two months later, in February 2018, Dansby-East was
indicted in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-18-626086 with two counts of
drug trafficking with forfeiture specifications; one count of
drug possession with forfeiture specifications; two counts of
failure to comply with the order or signal of a police
officer; and three counts of vandalism. This indictment arose
after a confidential reliable informant made a controlled
drug buy from Dansby-East in a CVS parking lot. When the
police approached his vehicle, Dansby-East tried to elude
them by driving away. In the process, he crashed into two
police cruisers and the side of the CVS store.
4} Dansby-East subsequently entered into a plea agreement
with the state. In Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-17-623203, he pleaded
guilty to having weapons while under disability with a
forfeiture specification; the remaining counts were nolled.
In Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-18-626086, Dansby-East pleaded guilty
to two counts of drug trafficking with forfeiture
specifications; one count of drug possession with forfeiture
specifications; and three counts of vandalism. The remaining
charges were nolled.
5} At sentencing, the trial court sentenced Dansby-East to
three years incarceration in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-17-623203.
In Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-18-626086, the court sentenced
Dansby-East to 12 months incarceration on each of the drug
trafficking counts and six months incarceration on the drug
possession conviction, to be served concurrently; and to 12
months each on the vandalism convictions, to be served
concurrently. The court ordered that the 12-month sentence on
the drug-related offenses be served consecutive to the
12-month sentence on the vandalism offenses, for a total of
two years incarceration. The trial court also ordered that
the two-year sentence in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-18-626086 be
served consecutive to the three-year sentence in Cuyahoga
C.P. No. CR-17-623203, for an aggregate sentence of five
years incarceration. This appeal followed.
Law and Analysis
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
6} In his first assignment of error, Dansby-East contends
that he was denied his constitutional right to effective
assistance of counsel.
7} The defendant has the burden of proving that counsel was
ineffective. State v. Smith,17 Ohio St.3d 98, 100,
477 N.E.2d 1128 (1985). "To substantiate a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant must
demonstrate that defense counsel's performance was
seriously flawed and deficient, and that the result of the
trial would have been different had proper representation
been afforded." State v. Foster, 8th Dist.
Cuyahoga No. ...