FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-2017-09-3307-A
M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
S. CALLAHAN JUDGE.
Appellant, Richard Curley, appeals his conviction in the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.
At approximately 3:45 a.m. on September 16, 2017, two armed
individuals robbed two pedestrians at the intersection of
Kirn Avenue and Power Street in Akron. One of the victims
pursued the gunmen when they fled on foot, but lost sight of
them near the intersection of Power Street and Brown Street.
Seconds later, the victim saw a vehicle speed away from a
nearby parking lot. At the same time, that victim, who was
also a member of the University of Akron off-campus civilian
patrol, contacted the University of Akron's dispatch
using a walkie-talkie.
A University of Akron ("University") police officer
in the vicinity heard the resulting dispatch. As he turned
left from Wolf Ledges Parkway to Thornton Street, he noted
that an oncoming vehicle traveling "at a good rate of
speed" lifted off the ground as it went through the
intersection of Thornton Street and Grant Street. The officer
observed that the front seat occupants and the vehicle
matched the description provided in the dispatch call, so he
performed a U-turn and followed the vehicle. When the vehicle
accelerated through a yellow light, the officer activated his
overhead lights and went through the intersection in pursuit.
The vehicle travelled approximately one-half mile before
stopping near the intersection of Wolf Ledges Parkway and
South Street, where the officer waited for backup to arrive
before approaching the vehicle.
At 3:54 a.m., police officers from the City of Akron were
dispatched to assist officers from the University with an
incident that was reported as "a suspicious person with
a gun." When they arrived at the scene of the traffic
stop at 3:56 a.m., University police officers had already
initiated a traffic stop and detained four individuals
suspected of being involved in the robbery. Because the
incident had occurred on private property, the University
officers turned the investigation over to the officers from
the City of Akron, who drove the victims to the scene of the
traffic stop to identify the occupants of the vehicle. The
victims identified the front-seat passenger, Hayden Fife, as
one of the gunmen with certainty. They did not identify the
second gunman with certainty. During a search of the vehicle,
officers found several items of the victims' personal
property and two guns that matched the description of those
used in the robbery.
Mr. Curley was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery
in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), accompanied by firearm
specifications pursuant to R.C. 2941.145; one count of having
weapons under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2);
and one count of gross sexual imposition in violation of R.C.
2907.05(A)(1). The State dismissed the charge of gross sexual
imposition before trial. A jury found Mr. Curley guilty of
both counts of aggravated robbery, but not guilty of the
firearm specifications and the remaining charge. The trial
court sentenced Mr. Curley to consecutive five-year prison
terms, and Mr. Curley filed this appeal. His three
assignments of error are rearranged for purposes of
OF ERROR NO. 2
CONVICTION WAS BASED UPON INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUSTAIN
[A] CONVICTION. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY DENYING
APPELLANT'S CRIM.R. 29 MOTION.
Mr. Curley's first assignment of error argues that the
State did not produce sufficient evidence to convict him of
aggravated robbery as an accomplice. This Court disagrees.
"Whether a conviction is supported by sufficient
evidence is a question of law that this Court reviews de
novo." State v. Williams, 9th Dist Summit No
24731, 2009-Ohio-6955, ¶ 18, citing State v
Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386 (1997) The relevant
inquiry is whether the prosecution has met its burden of
production by presenting sufficient evidence to sustain a
conviction Thompkins at 390 (Cook, J, concurring). In
reviewing the evidence, we do not evaluate credibility, and
we make all reasonable inferences in favor of the State.
State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 273 (1991). The
evidence is sufficient if it allows the trier of fact to
reasonably conclude that the essential elements of the crime
were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.
R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), which prohibits aggravated robbery,
provides that "[n]o person, in attempting or committing
a theft offense * * * or in fleeing immediately after the
attempt or offense, shall * * * [h]ave a deadly weapon on or
about the offender's person or under the offender's
control and either display the weapon, brandish it, indicate
that the offender possesses it, or use it[.]" A
"theft offense" includes a violation of R.C.
2913.02(A), which prohibits theft. R.C. 2913.01(K)(1). Theft
occurs when any person, "with purpose to deprive the
owner of property or services, * * * knowingly obtain[s] or