Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas No. CR-18-625443-B
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Kevin Bringman, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,
Russell S. Bensing, /or appellant.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
RAYMOND C. HEADEN, J.
1} Defendant-appellant Henry Norman
("Norman") appeals from his conviction following a
jury trial. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
and Substantive History
2} This appeal stems from an armed robbery that
occurred on January 23, 2018. On February 2, 2018, the
Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Norman and his
codefendant Jamuall Jones ("Jones") on one count of
aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1) with a
one-year firearm specification, a three-year firearm
specification, and two forfeiture specifications.
3} On June 26, 2018, the state placed a plea offer
on the record whereby Norman would plead guilty to an amended
count of robbery with a three-year firearm specification.
Norman rejected this offer and the matter proceeded to a jury
trial that began on July 16, 2018. Jones accepted a plea deal
where he pleaded guilty to an amended count of robbery with
forfeiture specifications and agreed to testify against
Norman at trial.
4} On the date of the incident, the victim, Travis
Penland ("Penland") lived in a house at 3607 West
104th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, with his fiancée and
two young children. Penland was sick with the flu and had
returned home from work and taken a shower. Around 8:40 that
night, he went out to his car to retrieve medication he had
left there. The car, a 2005 Lexus GS-300, was parked in the
street directly in front of Penland's house. After
Penland had retrieved the medication from his car and turned
to walk back to his house, he was approached from behind by a
man with a gun. Penland saw a gun pointed at him and
testified that he saw a man wearing black sweatpants, a grey
hoodie, and a mask covering his face. Penland also testified
that he heard the man telling him to get on the ground. He
obeyed, getting on the ground and throwing his car keys and
medication onto the ground. The man told Penland to stay on
the ground, retrieved the car keys, and then left. Penland
took this opportunity to run into his house and call the
police. At trial, the state called Penland as its first
witness. During direct examination of Penland, he relayed the
foregoing version of events. He also testified that the gun
used during the robbery was black and silver. The state
subsequently introduced a black and silver gun into evidence
without objection from Norman's counsel.
The state also called Javier Vargas ("Vargas"), one
of Penland's neighbors as a witness. Vargas testified
that he came home from work on January 23, at around 8 p.m.,
and received a call from another neighbor he identified as
Ms. Johnson. The following exchange occurred during direct
examination of Vargas:
PROSECUTION: Could you tell anything about her voice when you
answered the phone?
VARGAS: A little nervous, edgy.
PROSECUTION: Did that - did her voice sound different than