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State v. Cross

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

August 5, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
RODERICK B. CROSS, JR. Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 18CR097834

          GIOVANNA BREMKE, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and DANIELLELA BEARDEN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, Roderick Cross, appeals his convictions by the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms in part and reverses in part.

         I.

         {¶2} On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force knocked on the door of a home in Elyria, Ohio in search of Mr. Cross because they had credible information leading them to believe that he was staying with the owner of the home. The owner, S.G., acknowledged that Mr. Cross was present and allowed the officers to enter. Mr. Cross walked into an open area near the front of the house and identified himself as "Brandon Keith." Officers familiar with Mr. Cross suspected that this was a false name, but Mr. Cross was adamant about his identity.

         {¶3} As officers conducted a protective sweep of the residence, Mr. Cross shouted that they would find a gun on a nightstand in the back bedroom. Meanwhile, Mr. Cross continued to maintain that he was Brandon Keith. The officers found a loaded handgun in the location that Mr. Cross identified. Nearby, they also found a laser sight and identification belonging to Brandon Keith. According to the officers at the scene, Mr. Cross ultimately admitted his true identity and acknowledged that he owned the handgun.

         {¶4} Mr. Cross was charged with having a weapon while under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3), identity fraud in violation of R.C. 2913.49(B)(2), and possessing criminal tools in violation of R.C. 2923.24(A). Mr. Cross waived his right to a trial by jury, and the trial court found him guilty of each charge. The trial court sentenced Mr. Cross to prison terms of twelve months on each charge, and Mr. Cross filed this appeal.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1

THE VERDICT IN THIS CASE IS AGAINST THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE AND SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE IT VIOLATES THE FIFTH, SIXTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, AND ARTICLE I, SECTION 10 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF OHIO.

         {¶5} In his first assignment of error, Mr. Cross argues that each of his convictions is supported by insufficient evidence. This court agrees in part.

         {¶6} "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 ...


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