from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Seth L. Gilbert, for
Venters, Public Defender, and Robert D. Essex, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Deanthoni S. Truss, has
filed a delayed appeal from the judgment of the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas sentencing him to 40 years to
life imprisonment following the jury's guilty verdict on
charges of aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder,
felonious assault, and attendant firearm specifications. For
the following reasons, we affirm that judgment.
2} Our recitation of the facts in this case derives
in large part from a surveillance video obtained by the
Columbus Police Department from the Quick Stop convenience
store located at 2276 East Fifth Avenue. Just before noon on
June 8, 2016, Tommie Brown drove into the parking lot of the
Quick Stop, exited his vehicle, and shook hands with Kris
Pace, who was standing outside the store. Tommie went into
the store, purchased an item, exited the store, and resumed
his conversation with Kris.
3} A car driven by William Brown (no relation to
Tommie) pulled into the parking spot next to Tommie's
vehicle. Moments later, a car driven by Treyon Lee parked
next to William; appellant was seated in the front passenger
seat of Lee's car. Lee did not pull his vehicle all the
way into the parking space. As William exited his car, he
spoke to appellant through the open car window. William then
entered the store and walked to the counter. Almost
immediately, William exited the store and engaged in another
conversation with appellant, who was still seated in
Lee's car. Following this conversation, William
re-entered the store; Kris followed him inside. As William
stood at the counter, Kris punched him in the face, knocking
him to the floor. Kris continued to strike William as he lay
on the floor. At trial, Kris testified that he attacked
William because William had pulled a gun on him a few days
4} In the meantime, Tommie walked toward the
entrance of the store. At the same time, appellant exited
Lee's car, shook hands with Tommie, and scanned the area.
He held the door open for Tommie, scanned the area again,
pulled a gun from his jacket pocket and followed Tommie into
the store. Tommie stood inside, watching the fight between
William and Kris. Immediately after entering the store,
appellant turned toward Tommie and fired two shots at him
from close range. One bullet struck Tommie in the abdomen;
the other struck him in the chest. Appellant then approached
Kris and William and fired five shots at them. He immediately
ran out the front door and dove headfirst into Lee's car
through the open passenger window. Lee was already backing
out of the parking space as appellant exited the store.
Appellant and Lee fled the scene.
5} In the aftermath of the shootings, the store
cashier called 911 and attempted to assist Kris, who had been
shot several times. William, who had been shot in the
shoulder, ran out of the store and drove away. Tommie
collapsed and died inside the front entrance. Kris was
rendered a quadriplegic as a result of the shooting.
6} During their investigation, the police recovered,
among other evidence, a semiautomatic handgun from the floor
near Tommie's head. The police also obtained the
surveillance video from the store. After interviewing
witnesses and reviewing the surveillance video, the police
developed appellant as a suspect in the shootings. A warrant
for his arrest was issued on June 22, 2016.
7} On November 17, 2016, the Southern Ohio Fugitive
Apprehension Team ("SOFAST"), a task force
comprised of several federal and state law enforcement
officers, tracked appellant and two women to a hotel room in
northern Franklin County. Several SOFAST officers, all
dressed in tactical gear, assembled outside the hotel room to
execute the arrest warrant. Pursuant to SOFAST protocol, one
of the officers knocked loudly on the door of the hotel room
several times, each time announcing himself as a police
officer with a warrant for appellant's arrest. When
appellant did not respond, the officer warned appellant that
the SOFAST team would force the door open if appellant did
not voluntarily open the door. Receiving no response, the
officers breached the door and removed the two women from the
room. Appellant fired multiple shots at the officers, and
they returned fire.
8} Following the shootout, appellant was taken into
custody and interviewed by a Columbus police detective.
During that interview, the detective described in detail the
events depicted on the surveillance video. Appellant admitted
that he knew Tommie, Kris, and William prior to the incident
on June 8, 2016. However, he did not know that William was
going to be at the Quick Stop that day or what precipitated
the fight between William and Kris. He further averred that
he had not seen Tommie for some time and thought they were
"cool" with each other. (Nov. 17, 2016 interview,
State's Ex. R.) He admitted that he shot Tommie, William,
and Kris, but explained that he thought there was a robbery
in progress because when he opened the door for Tommie,
Tommie told him he would kill him if he "jump[ed]
in." Id. Appellant also stated that Tommie was
holding a firearm at his side when he entered the store.