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State v. Baker

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

June 28, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
NAHDIA S. BAKER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 2013 CR 380 (E)

          Paul J. Gains, Mahoning County Prosecutor and Ralph M. Rivera, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Walter T. Madison, for Defendant-Appellant

          BEFORE: Cheryl L. Waite, Gene Donofrio, Carol Ann Robb, Judges.

          OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          WAITE, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Nahdia S. Baker appeals a February 9, 2018 Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas judgment entry denying her motion to dismiss criminal charges based on double jeopardy and issue preclusion arguments. Appellant argues that since the jury acquitted her of all charges as the principal offender, the state cannot retry her on the same charges under a complicity theory. For the reasons that follow, Appellant's arguments are without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶1} On May 21, 2015, Appellant was indicted on: one count of aggravated arson, a felony of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2902.02(A)(2), (B)(1)(3); one count of arson, a felony of the fourth degree in violation of R.C. 2909.03(A)(1), (B)(1)(2)(b); two counts of discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, a felony of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2923.161(A)(1), (C); three counts of attempted murder, a felony of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2923.02(A) and R.C. 2903.02(A), (D); three counts of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2), (D); and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2923.32(A)(1), (B).

         {¶2} The charges arose from crimes that occurred in furtherance of a drug distribution organization. Appellant was indicted along with her codefendants: DeWaylyn Colvin, Michael L. Austin, Jr., Hakeem D. Henderson, Vincent D. Moorer, and Melvin E. Johnson. Colvin pleaded guilty and did not appeal his convictions. We upheld the convictions of Austin, Henderson, Moorer, and Johnson. See State v. Austin, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 16 MA 0068, 2019-Ohio-1185; State v. Henderson, 2018-Ohio-5124, -N.E.3d -- (7th Dist.); State v. Moorer, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 17 MA 0054, 2019-Ohio-1090; State v. Johnson, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 17 MA 0050, 2019-Ohio-1089. Appellant's trial was severed from her codefendants' trials.

         {¶3} On October 2, 2017, Appellant's jury trial commenced. On October 12, 2017, Appellant was found not guilty of: aggravated arson, complicity to commit aggravated arson, arson, two counts of discharging a firearm at or into habitation, three counts of attempted murder, two counts of complicity to commit attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault, and two counts of complicity to commit felonious assault.

         {¶4} The jury could not reach a verdict on: complicity to commit arson, two counts of complicity to improperly discharge a firearm at or into a habitation, two counts of discharging a firearm at or into habitation, complicity to commit attempted murder, complicity to commit felonious assault, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The trial court deemed a mistrial as to these charges.

         {¶5} The state refiled the latter charges, on which the court had granted mistrial. Appellant filed multiple motions to dismiss these charges. The trial court most recently denied Appellant's February 9, 2018 motion to dismiss. It is from this judgment entry that Appellant timely appeals.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT DID NOT FIND THAT THE ISSUE PRECLUSION COMPONENT OF THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY CLAUSE BARRED A SECOND CONTEST OF AN ISSUE OF FACT OR LAW ...


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