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State v. Miller

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

December 3, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
JUSTIN MILLER Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Municipal Court, Case No. 2018 CRB 01896

         JUDGMENT: Affirmed

          For Plaintiff-Appellee J. MICHAEL KING

          For Defendant-Appellant TODD W. BARSTOW

          JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, Earle, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Justin Miller appeals the March 19, 2019 judgment of conviction and sentence of the Licking County Municipal Court. Plaintiff-appellee is the state of Ohio.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On July 11, 2019, appellant was employed by Englefield Oil Company which operates the Duke and Duchess gas stations. Appellant worked third shift, from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., at the Newark Duke and Duchess on Mt. Vernon Road.

         {¶ 3} On that evening, store manager Chris Maring was awakened around 12:45 a.m. by Tyco Security alerting him to the fact that there was an alarm pulled at his store.

         {¶ 4} Newark Police Department Officer James Wells was the first officer on the scene. Maring provided Wells with the store security video. Wells and Newark Police Detective Jarrod Conley reviewed the video. The officers noted several oddities. Appellant appeared calm and was smiling during the robbery, and the robber laid his gun on the counter in order to take cash from the register. Then, after the robber left, appellant waited 5 minutes to activate the security alarm. After viewing the video, and after Conley had a conversation with appellant, both officers suspected the robbery had been staged.

         {¶ 5} After further investigation, Anthony Marshall, a friend of appellant, became a person of interest. When Conley found Marshall, he was wearing the same pants he wore during the robbery. Marshall initially denied any involvement. But once advised that a staged robbery would carry less serious charges than an actual robbery, and after he consulted with his mother, Marshall admitted that he, appellant, and another friend, Joseph Wymer, had staged the robbery. Marshall admitted he was the robber in the store surveillance video and that Wymer had drove him to and from the scene. Wymer later admitted his role as well. The three men split the proceeds of the robbery.

         {¶ 6} Leann Horwell, director of retail operations for Englefield Oil was tasked with calculating the loss resulting from the robbery. She determined a total of $675 was taken from two registers and the safe.

         {¶ 7} Appellant was later charged by complaint with one count each of complicity to commit theft, making false alarms, and falsification, misdemeanors of the first degree, and ...


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