Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No.
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., BY MICHAEL J. SCARPELLI, ATTY.,
ASSISTANT PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY
PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, APPELLATE DIVISION, MONTGOMERY
COUNTY COURTS BUILDING ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
B. RHODES, ATTY. ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER, ATTORNEY FOR
1} Aaron Mitchell appeals from a judgment sustaining
the State of Ohio's motion for no bond. According to
Mitchell, the trial court abused its discretion because the
State failed to establish the required factors in R.C.
2937.222 by clear and convincing evidence.
2} We conclude that the trial court did not err in
requiring that Mitchell be held without bond. Ample evidence
supported the court's findings that Mitchell posed a
substantial risk of serious physical harm to police officers
and the community and that no conditions of release would
reasonably assure their safety. Accordingly, the judgment of
the trial court will be affirmed.
Facts and Course of Proceedings
3} On November 30, 2018, Clay Township Patrol
Sergeant James Hawkins was in a meeting with the police chief
at the police station on Arlington Road in Clay Township,
Ohio. The building housed administrative offices as well as
the police station. During the meeting, Hawkins and the chief
heard seven to ten shots being fired outside the building. At
that point, Hawkins exited the building from the north door,
which was the exit and entrance that the police used. The
door was recessed about a foot, and Hawkins used that for
cover. As he exited, he saw a black Pontiac Fiero automobile
stopped on Arlington Road in the northbound lane. A male
(later identified as Mitchell), was in the Fiero, with a
rifle sitting on the open side door of the car. When Hawkins
screamed at him to drop the gun, Mitchell fired shots.
4} Hawkins continued to scream at Mitchell to drop
the gun, but Mitchell flipped him off, revved his engine, and
began to travel north on Arlington Road. A chase then ensued,
which involved Hawkins and officers from other jurisdictions.
During the chase, Mitchell drove more than 80 miles per hour
at times, ran two stop signs, and drove through spike strips.
He was then stopped in the intersection of Diamond Mill Road
and Kimmel Road, in Montgomery County, Ohio. When the chase
was approaching the spike strips, another officer radioed
that Mitchell had a brown assault rifle in his lap.
5} After the stop, Hawkins exited his vehicle and
began screaming, "Show me your hands, show me your
hands." Transcript of Proceedings ("Tr.") at
p. 20. Hawkins saw the barrel of the rifle come up and
screamed "gun" to alert the other officers. He then
began screaming at Mitchell to drop the gun. At that point,
Mitchell opened the car door and flipped off the officers.
Mitchell then placed his foot out of the door, put his left
hand on the barrel of the rifle, and began to exit his car.
As Mitchell grabbed the barrel and rotated out of the car,
the barrel came in Hawkins' direction and toward the
other officers at the scene. Because Hawkins believed
Mitchell was going to cause serious physical harm or kill the
officers, he fired. Mitchell then threw the gun out of the
car, and a trooper approached the car with a ballistic
6} Although Mitchell had been given commands to exit
the car, he did not do so; as a result, Hawkins holstered his
firearm and removed Mitchell from the car. When Mitchell was
removed, he had an open can of Bud Ice in his hand. Mitchell
had been shot multiple times and was transported to the
7} During the incident, Mitchell used a 4095 High
Point rifle, which had a magazine that contained 8 rounds.
The magazine for that rifle can hold 10 rounds. A subsequent
search of Mitchell's car uncovered an empty magazine for
the rifle and shell casings on the vehicle's floorboard.
8} Mitchell was initially arraigned in municipal
court, where a bond of $150, 000 was set. Subsequently, on
December 13, 2018, an indictment was filed in Montgomery
County Common Pleas Court, charging Mitchell with five
counts: (1) felonious assault (police officer - deadly
weapon), in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2), a first degree
felony, with firearm specifications of seven years
(discharging at officer), five years, and three years; (2)
discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises
(serious physical harm) in violation of R.C. 2923.162(A)(3),
a third-degree felony, with a three-year firearm
specification; (3) failure to comply with an order or signal
of a police officer (serious physical harm), in violation of
R.C. 2921.331(B) and (C)(5), a third-degree felony; (4)
failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer
(fleeing felony), in violation of R.C. 2921.331(B) and
(C)(4), a fourth-degree felony; and (5) felonious assault
(police officer - deadly weapon) in violation of R.C.
2903.11(A(2), a first degree felony, with a three-year
9} Following the indictment, the trial court
continued the prior bond. Mitchell remained in jail until
January 8, 2019, when his father posted the $150, 000 bond.
Shortly thereafter, on January 11, 2019, the State filed a
motion for no bond. Alternatively, the State asked the court
to increase the bond to $1, 000, 000. The court then set a
hearing for January 16, 2019, and ordered that Mitchell be
taken into custody and detained in jail until the ruling on
10} On January 16 and 17, 2019, the court held
hearings, during which the State and Mitchell both presented
evidence. The court then issued an order on January 18, 2019,
granting the State's motion for no bond. Mitchell timely
appealed from the court's order.
Alleged Abuse of Discretion in Granting No Bond Motion
11} Mitchell's sole assignment of error is as
Trial Court Abused Its Discretion in Deciding to Hold
Defendant-Appellant Without Bond Because the State Failed to
Establish the Enumerated Factors of R.C. 2937.222 by Clear
and Convincing Evidence.
12} According to Mitchell, the trial court erred by
failing to consider legitimate issues about the most serious
charges, which would significantly reduce his potential
prison sentence. He further contends that he does not pose a
risk of substantial harm to the community and that conditions
of release exist that will reasonably assure the
13} In this case, the State's motion was made
pursuant to R.C. 2937.222. The statute provides, as pertinent
here, that "[o]n the motion of the prosecuting attorney
or on the judge's own motion, the judge shall hold a
hearing to determine whether an accused person charged with *
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