Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Preble
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM PREBLE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case
P. Votel, Gractia S. Manning, for appellee
William O. Cass, Jr., for appellant
1} In November 2017, the Preble County Sheriffs
Office used a confidential informant to conduct a controlled
buy of methamphetamine from appellant, Brian Shaner. The
transaction occurred in the parking lot of a local medical
facility where appellant's motor vehicle was parked.
Appellant had his infant child with him in the car during the
2} Appellant was subsequently indicted for three
offenses: aggravated trafficking in drugs, a second-degree
felony; aggravated possession of drugs, a third-degree
felony; and endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The case proceeded to a one-day jury trial on June 11, 2018
and the jury found appellant guilty as charged.
3} Within fourteen days of the jury's verdict,
appellant's trial attorney filed a written motion for a
new trial based on alleged discovery violations. The trial
court denied the motion. Meanwhile, appellant's trial
counsel indicated to the prosecutor that juror misconduct may
have occurred. The prosecutor notified the court by filing a
notice of alleged jury misconduct. The trial court appointed
new counsel for appellant and scheduled a hearing on the
4} At the end of the hearing, appellant's new
trial counsel suggested a new trial was appropriate. The
court assumed the request was an oral motion for a new trial,
but disagreed, finding that no misconduct occurred and denied
the motion. The case then proceeded to sentencing. The court
merged the drug trafficking and possession offenses and
sentenced appellant to an aggregate four-year prison term.
5} Appellant now appeals his convictions, raising
two assignments of error.
6} Assignment of Error No. 1:
7} THE JURY'S FINDING OF GUILTY WAS BASED ON
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AND WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE
8} In his first assignment of error, appellant
argues that his conviction was not supported by sufficient
evidence and was otherwise against the manifest weight of the
9} The concepts of sufficiency of the evidence and
weight of the evidence are both quantitatively and
qualitatively different. State v. Couch, 12th Dist.
Butler No. CA2016-03-062, 2016-Ohio-8452, ¶ 9,
citing State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386
(1997). Sufficiency of the evidence is the concept of whether
the conviction can be supported as a matter of law. State
v. Green, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2017-11-161,
2018-Ohio-3991, ¶ 25. The standard of review for a
sufficiency of the evidence challenge is whether any rational
trier of fact could have found the prosecution proved the
essential elements of the criminal offense beyond a
reasonable doubt, viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecutor. State v. Beverly, 143
Ohio St.3d 258, 2015-Ohio-219, ¶ 15. On a sufficiency
challenge, the reviewing court will not consider the
credibility of the witnesses. State v. Wilks, 154
Ohio St.3d 359, 2018-Ohio-1562, ¶ 162. Instead, the
appellate court will defer to the trier of fact on questions
of credibility and weight. State v. Kirkland, 140
Ohio St.3d 73, 2014- Ohio-1966, ¶ 132.
10} A manifest weight challenge, on the other hand,
requires the appellate court examine the evidence to
determine whether the "greater amount of credible
evidence" supports one side of the issue over the other.
State v. Bell, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2008-
05-044, 2009-Ohio-2 ...