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State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

July 19, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
TRACY LAMAR JONES Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 2018-CR-1910

          MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by MICHAEL P. ALLEN, Atty. Reg. No. 0095826, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

          JOHN S. PINARD, Atty. Reg. No. 0085567, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          DONOVAN, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Tracy Lamar Jones appeals his conviction for felonious assault, a felony of the second degree, with a firearm specification. Jones filed a timely notice of appeal with this court on October 24, 2018.

         {¶ 2} Sometime in 2015, the victim, Jabbrae Moore began dating a woman named Latoria. Moore was eventually introduced to Latoria's brother, defendant-appellant Jones. Moore was associated with an individual who owned several residences in Dayton, Ohio, and he arranged for Jones to begin living in a house located on Laurel Avenue in Dayton (hereinafter "the residence"). Moore and Jones reached an oral agreement whereby Jones would make an initial down payment of $2, 000, and would then pay $500 per month in rent while living in the residence. The record establishes that, although Jones made the initial down payment of $2, 000 to Moore, he failed to make any further rent payments while he lived at the residence.

         {¶ 3} Moore testified that on May 7, 2018, he traveled to the residence in an attempt to speak with Jones and possibly collect some of the delinquent rent payments. When he arrived, Moore observed Jones entering the residence and called out to him. Jones entered the residence without responding to Moore. Shortly thereafter, while Moore was speaking to another individual on the street, Jones walked back outside of the residence and fired a gun into the air. Moore testified that he immediately left the area and went home.

         {¶ 4} Moore testified that one day later on May 8, 2018, he left his place of employment at approximately 3:30 p.m. and drove to a store located on Hoover Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. Before he reached the store, Moore observed Jones reversing his vehicle into the driveway of a residence located on Cleverly Road, a nearby street that branched off of Hoover Avenue. Moore testified that he parked his vehicle on Hoover Avenue and approached the location where he had observed Jones. Moore testified that once he reached the residence, he called out to Jones, who was standing on the porch with two other individuals. Moore testified that Jones then pulled a handgun from his pants and aimed it at him. Moore testified that, at this point, he turned around and began running back to his vehicle. After he turned around, Moore heard a single gunshot and fell to the ground, having been shot in the side of his abdomen. Moore testified that while he was lying on the ground, he observed Jones and the two other individuals get into Jones's vehicle and drive away from the scene.

         {¶ 5} Moore testified that after Jones left, he got up, ran back to his vehicle, and started driving toward Miami Valley Hospital. While he was driving to the hospital, Moore called his brother, Antone Moore, to inform him of the shooting. Moore testified that, as he was driving, he became dizzy and began losing consciousness as a result of having been shot. Therefore, Moore decided to drive to his aunt's residence nearby on Second Street in Dayton, Ohio. Moore stopped his vehicle in the middle of street in front of his aunt's house and began honking his horn in order to get his aunt's attention.

         {¶ 6} Moore testified that, once his aunt approached his vehicle, he told her that he had been shot, and she called the paramedics. The paramedics moved Moore from his vehicle into an ambulance and transported him to Miami Valley Hospital. During surgery, doctors discovered that the bullet had hit Moore's intestines in four places and also hit his spine. Initially, Moore did not identify Jones as the individual who shot him. However, while recovering in the hospital, Moore informed the police that Jones had shot him. Moore also identified Jones as his assailant from a photospread.

         {¶ 7} Based upon the information provided by Moore, an arrest warrant was issued for Jones. On May 22, 2018, Dayton Police Officer Michael Beane received a report from other members of his unit that Jones had been seen at an apartment complex located on North Gettysburg Drive in Dayton, Ohio. Officer Beane testified that he traveled to that location and observed an individual matching Jones's description standing in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Upon observing Officer Beane's cruiser, Jones began running toward North Gettysburg Drive. Officer Beane exited his cruiser and began chasing Jones on foot. Jones got on a bicycle and began riding through traffic on North Gettysburg Drive. Officer Stephen Lloyd, who was responding to the call about the ongoing chase, turned onto North Gettysburg Drive and observed Jones riding towards him. Officer Lloyd testified that he pulled his cruiser around a traffic median and stopped in front of Jones. Jones collided with Officer Lloyd's cruiser, fell off the bicycle, and was arrested by the police officers.

         {¶ 8} On June 21, 2018, Jones was indicted for one count of felonious assault (deadly weapon) and one count of felonious assault (serious harm); each count was accompanied by a firearm specification. At his arraignment on June 26, 2018, Jones stood mute, and the trial court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

         {¶ 9} Prior to trial, Jones filed a waiver of his right to a jury trial. On August 27, 2018, Jones's case was tried to the bench. On September 27, 2018, the trial court found Jones guilty of both counts of felonious assault as well as the firearm specifications. The trial court ordered a presentence investigation report (PSI). At Jones's disposition on October 18, 2018, the trial court merged both counts and the firearm specifications. The State elected to proceed to sentencing on the count of felonious assault (serious harm). Thereafter, the trial court sentenced Jones to five years in prison for felonious assault and three years for the firearm specification, to run consecutively, for an aggregate sentence of eight years in prison.

         {¶ 10} It is from this judgment ...


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