from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Valerie B. Swanson for
R. Venters, Public Defender, and Ian J. Jones for appellee.
Valerie B. Swanson.
1} Defendant-appellant, William T. Brown, appeals
from a judgment of conviction and sentence entered by the
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas pursuant to his no
contest plea to possession of heroin following the trial
court's denial of his motions to suppress. Because the
trial court did not err in denying appellant's motions to
suppress, we affirm.
2} On May 26, 2017, a Franklin County Grand Jury
indicted appellant on one count of possession of heroin, in
violation of R.C. 2925.11, a felony of the fifth degree.
Appellant initially entered a plea of not guilty.
3} On April 17, 2018, appellant filed motions to
suppress evidence and statements. The trial court conducted
an evidentiary hearing on the motions on August 29, 2018.
4} Columbus Police Officer Kyle Beatty was the only
witness who testified at the suppression hearing. Beatty
averred that on June 2, 2016, he and his fellow officer, Erik
Bateman, were on patrol in a marked police cruiser in the
area of Fifth and Benfield at approximately 4:48 p.m. The
officers were in the area based upon complaints of narcotics
being sold out of a "suspected drug house" on
Fifth. (Aug. 29, 2018 Tr. at 13.) To that end, he and Bateman
were "looking for a consistency of narcotics sales,
people in and out quick, people hanging around, prostitutes
in the area, things like that." Id. at 12.
5} The officers stopped in front of the house and
observed appellant and another man standing outside near the
driveway. When the men saw the officers, both immediately
turned their backs and started looking up at a tree. When the
officers pulled their cruiser next to the men, neither of
them turned around or acknowledged the officers in any way.
Because the men were standing in front of a suspected drug
house and "their actions happened the second we pulled
down the street," the officers believed the men
"were engaged in drug activity from that house."
Id. at 15. The officers exited their cruiser
simultaneously; neither drew a weapon.
6} The officers approached the men and engaged them
in conversation. Specifically, the officers asked if either
of them lived in the house; both men denied living there.
Appellant then "started walking away very slowly with
his back towards us." Id. at 17. Appellant did
not say anything to the officers as he walked away. Because
he was walking so slowly, Beatty thought appellant was
"contemplating running." Id. at 17. Beatty
stayed with appellant's companion while Bateman followed
appellant down the street for approximately 10 to 12 feet.
According to Beatty, Bateman did not tell appellant to stop
walking, did not impede his travel, did not ...