Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas
TRIAL NO. B-1506966
Appealed From Is: Affirmed
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Alex
Scott Havlin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for
Raymond L. Katz, for Defendant-Appellant.
Randolph Talbert appeals his conviction, following a jury
trial, for the murder of Raj-Paul Doughty. Because we find
that the conviction was supported by the manifest weight of
the evidence, no prosecutorial misconduct occurred, Talbert
was not denied the effective assistance of counsel, and the
trial court committed no plain error, we affirm the trial
On December 11, 2015, Doughty was shot to death inside the
men's room at Lamarr's Lounge, a club in Lincoln
Shortly after midnight, Doughty entered the men's room
and greeted the only other occupant, Jason Rutherford, who
was standing at a mirror. Doughty walked into the single,
doorless, stall and stood at the toilet. Then, according to
Rutherford, within a few seconds, "somebody busted the
door and had a gun. I heard a shot. I ducked down and
ran." Rutherford said he heard another shot as he ran
out of the restroom. At trial, Rutherford did not identify
Talbert, whom he knew as "Noggie,"
as the shooter. And he denied that he had told a police
detective that Talbert was the person who had entered the
restroom with a gun. Rutherford's statement to police,
after he was told Talbert had been arrested, was,
"Somebody busted, I guess - - Noggie, or whoever, bust
through the door."
Adrian Williams, a promoter at the club, was standing in the
crowded area outside the men's room, when he heard one
gunshot, followed by more gunshots. He saw two people fall
down as he backed into the women's restroom for cover.
When he came out of the restroom, he saw Doughty, whom he
knew as "Papoo," lying on the floor. The second
person was gone.
Jasmine Moreland, a dancer at the club, testified that she
was performing for a club patron in the area outside the
men's room, when she heard gunshots coming from the
bathroom. She testified that "we heard the gunshots, we
just stopped and, like, everybody in the back just paused and
then the bathroom door just flew open." She testified
that Papoo and "the shooter" came out of the
bathroom and fell to the floor, and that the shooter was
holding a gun in his hand. She said that Papoo was holding
onto the other man when they "busted out the door."
She testified that she thought the other man "was trying
to get [Papoo] off of him, but he still had the gun in his
hand while he was trying to get [Papoo] off of him."
Moreland described the gun she saw as "a black, small
gun." She said, "It was like it could be like a .25
or something." When asked whether the gun was an
automatic or a revolver, Moreland replied, "I think it
was automatic, I think. It was the square one." She
explained, "When I say square, I'm basically
describing it as like, if you know how a .22 is made with a
small barrel, like it wasn't small like that. It was just
the box type of gun."
At trial, Moreland identified Talbert as the gun-holding man
who had come out of the bathroom with Doughty.
An autopsy revealed that Doughty sustained six gunshot wounds
to the torso. Entrance wounds indicated that Doughty had been
shot four times from behind and once in the chest. The sixth
wound had indistinguishable entrance and exit wounds. The
coroner testified that the shot to the chest went through
Doughty's pulmonary artery, causing him to bleed to
death. Three bullets were recovered from Doughty's body.
Police recovered seven .25-caliber cartridge casings and
three fired bullets from inside the men's room. A
firearms examiner testified that all six fired bullets (three
from the autopsy and three from the men's room), and each
of the seven casings, had been discharged from the same gun.
The gun was never found.
Talbert did not testify or present witnesses on his behalf.
The defense's theory of the case was that Talbert had not
been in the bathroom when Doughty was shot, and that, as he
and the other club patrons fled in panic following the
gunfire, he had become entangled with Doughty when Doughty
stumbled out of the bathroom. Defense counsel argued that
neither Talbert's fingerprints nor his DNA had been found
in the ...