from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Kimberly M. Bond, for
W. Barstow, for appellant.
Kimberly M. Bond.
1} Defendant-appellant, Hakeem O. Johnston, appeals
from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
finding him guilty, pursuant to jury verdict, of aggravated
burglary, aggravated robbery, involuntary manslaughter, and
felony murder, with associated 54-month firearm
specifications as to each, and guilty, pursuant to bench
verdict, of having weapons while under disability
("WUD"), with an associated 54-month firearm
specification. Because the manifest weight of the evidence
supports the verdicts, we affirm.
2} In 2017, Laquam Gratsy lived in a two-story house
located at 255 South Ogden Avenue. The house was well-known
as a "trap house" where persons could buy, sell,
and abuse drugs. (Tr. at 179.) Two surveillance cameras
mounted at the top left and top right of the front porch
captured images of persons entering and exiting the house
through the front door, which led to directly into the living
room. These cameras also captured images of persons walking
along the side of the house near the front door. In addition,
a surveillance camera mounted at the top of the back of the
second story monitored ingress and egress through the back
door, which led directly into the kitchen.
3} On January 30, 2017, Michael Reime rode with
appellant, known as "Chilli," Devante Harris, known
as "Shooter," a man known as "Steve-O,"
and a man named Max to the Ogden Avenue address. At the time,
Reime and Gratsy were good friends; however, Reime had known
appellant and Shooter less than a day. Appellant told Reime
that a woman at the Ogden house owed him money. Both
appellant and Shooter were armed with .40 caliber handguns;
appellant's gun had an extended clip.
4} The front porch surveillance cameras captured
images of the group arriving at the Ogden house at
approximately 7:42 p.m.; Reime and the others walked around
the side of the house to the back door. (State's Ex.
153-154.) Gratsy's brother, Emilio, immediately permitted
Reime to enter the house. The other four men initially were
denied entry; however, they eventually were permitted inside.
Gratsy and Kiana Bacino were seated at the kitchen table
conducting drugs transactions. Marcus Cooley, a homeless
crack addict who sometimes worked as a "doorman,"
regulating traffic in and out of the house in exchange for
drugs, was also in the kitchen. (Tr. at 433-34.) Reime and
Steve-O walked through the kitchen to the living room, where
several young women were abusing drugs. Emilio eventually
left the house; however, Gratsy, Bacino, Cooley, appellant,
Shooter, and Max remained in the kitchen.
5} At some point, appellant, allegedly angry because
some of the individuals inside the house owed him money,
pulled out his gun and ordered Gratsy, Bacino, and Cooley to
lie down on the floor. Gratsy, however, remained seated at
the table. After Shooter and Max robbed the others, appellant
struck Gratsy in the back of the head with the gun. When
Gratsy stood up, appellant again struck him with the gun,
this time on the left side of his face. Gratsy, unconscious,
fell to the floor, close to Bacino, who had complied with
appellant's order to get on the floor. Appellant then
fired one shot at Gratsy, hitting him in the back.
6} Reime, still in the living room, heard the
gunshot. About five seconds later, appellant entered the
living room, held a gun to Reime's face, and told him to
get down on the floor. Appellant, Shooter, ...