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State v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

June 6, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BRANDON MALIK FIELDS Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2018CR1152(C)

          For Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Stark County Prosecuting Attorney KRISTINE BEARD Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant BERNARD L. HUNT

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.

          OPINION

          Hoffman, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Brandon Malik Fields appeals the judgment entered by the Stark County Common Pleas Court convicting him of robbery (R.C. 2911.02(A)(2)) and assault (R.C. 2903.13(A)) and sentencing him to an aggregate term of incarceration of six years. Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} Diana Johnson met Sean Jefferson through an online dating service in early May, 2018. They frequently talked and hung out together thereafter. Diana attended a party at her cousin's duplex on May 23, 2018. She called Sean to ask him to come to the party in the 3100 block of Kalahari St. in Canton, Ohio. She asked him to bring her a Black and Mild cigarette and to park behind the duplex, near a dumpster.

         {¶3} Sean arrived between 6:30-7:00 p.m., and parked where instructed. Diana was outside waiting for him. He gave her the Black and Mild, which she smoked outside. She told Sean smoking was not permitted at the party. While standing outside, Sean saw a man approaching from the left, and two men approaching from the other direction. Sean had a bad feeling about the situation.

         {¶4} According to Diana, two men, Kevin Proctor and Appellant, who she knew as "Mozzy," were at the party and approached her and Sean outside. Proctor asked Sean for a cigarette. Sean told Proctor he didn't smoke. Proctor then asked for a "buck." Tr. 132. Sean said he didn't have a buck, but he had hundreds, referring to money. Proctor and Sean started to walk to Sean's car, when Proctor threw Sean to the ground. Appellant kicked Sean several times, and Proctor punched Sean. When Diana ran to kick Proctor, Appellant picked her up and slammed her to the ground. She got up and ran to her mother's house. Before she left, she saw keys in Proctor's hand.

         {¶5} According to Sean's recollection of the evening, one of the men who approached him outside asked for money. Sean replied he didn't have any money. The man told Sean he needed a "band," or one thousand dollars. Tr. 175. Sean walked to his car to get a crow bar for protection. As he was walking, he was thrown to the ground and kicked by two men - one wearing boots, and one wearing gym shoes. The men kicked Sean multiple times. He did not recognize any of the men. He lost consciousness, and woke up as the men were attempting to use the fingers of his left hand to unlock his cell phone. While lying on the ground, he saw Diana walk away. After the men left in his car, Sean got up and walked toward the road. A girl stopped to help him. He next woke up in the back of an ambulance. The men who assaulted him took his wallet, cell phone, keys, and rental vehicle. Sean was not able to identify Appellant nor Proctor.

         {¶6} Detective Joseph Pileggi of the Canton Police Department was assigned to the case. In speaking with Sean, he learned Sean believed Diana set him up for the robbery. Detective Pileggi's attempts to contact Diana were unsuccessful. Det. Pileggi issued a warrant for Diana's arrest for complicity to commit robbery, and she was arrested by a U.S. Marshall in June of 2018.

         {¶7} Diana identified Proctor to Det. Pileggi by name. She told the detective the other man went by the name "Mozzy Mac" on Facebook, and his first name was Brandon. Det. Pileggi circulated a photograph of the man Diana knew as Mozzy around the police department, and a patrol officer identified the man as Appellant. Diana identified photos of both men.

         {¶8} Sean's rental vehicle was recovered two weeks later. Two juveniles were arrested in ...


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