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State v. Dansby-East

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 6, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHRISTOPHER R. DANSBY-EAST, Defendant-Appellant.

          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.

          Jordan & Sidoti, L.L.P., and Mary Catherine Corrigan, for appellant.

          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.

         I. Background

         {¶ 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.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. 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. ...


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