from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Barbara A. Farnbacher,
Law Offices of Thomas F Hayes, LLC, and Thomas F Hayes, for
1} Defendant-appellant, Michael A. Wright, appeals
from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,
convicting him of improperly discharging a firearm at or into
a habitation, in violation of R.C. 2923.161; discharging a
firearm on or near a prohibited premises in violation of R.C.
2923.162; tampering with evidence, in violation of R.C.
2921.12; and attempted having a weapon while under
disability, in violation of R.C. 2923.02. For the reasons
that follow, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} This case arises out of a drive-by shooting at
Salvatore Gaetano's residence located at 2242 Union
Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, on August 12, 2017. Columbus Police
Officer Harry Brian Dorsey testified that he was on patrol on
Sullivant Avenue near Whitethorne Avenue when, at
approximately 11:30 p.m., he heard several gunshots ring out
followed by a slight pause, and then several more gunshots.
Almost immediately after the second set of shots was fired,
Dorsey heard a loud crashing sound. Dorsey responded by
driving his cruiser to the area south of Sullivant and east
of Whitmore and exiting his vehicle. Dorsey saw a tall, heavy
set, black male wearing dark clothing running north into an
alley before turning west and running through a neighborhood.
Dorsey testified that the man had something in his hand, but
he was unable to make it out.
3} Though Dorsey lost sight of the man for a moment,
he continued on foot to a residence located at 464
Whitethorne Avenue where he observed the same black male,
later identified as appellant, standing on the front porch.
Dorsey testified that the man was "blading" his
body as if to conceal something from Dorsey. (Aug. 15, 2018
Tr. at 62.) According to Dorsey, appellant told him that
someone had just taken a shot at him and pointed toward a
white male, later identified as Gaetano, who was running west
on Union Avenue. With the help of Officer Gerald Randal, who
had also heard the gunshots and had just arrived at the
scene, Gaetano was detained and placed in a police cruiser
where he told the officers that someone had just shot at his
house. Dorsey noticed a large number of shell casings in the
street in front of Gaetano's home.
4} As he was speaking with Gaetano, Dorsey observed
a disabled Chevrolet Cruze that had crashed into a pole at
Union Avenue near Butler Avenue. Dorsey believed this vehicle
was associated with a person named Micah Harris because he
had seen Harris driving that vehicle in the past. According
to Dorsey, he approached a man by the name of Michael Cook,
who was standing by the disabled vehicle. After speaking with
Cook, Dorsey returned to the residence located at 464
Whitethorne Avenue. When Dorsey arrived at the residence
located at 464 Whitethorne Avenue, appellant went inside the
residence and refused to come out. After a brief stand-off,
appellant came outside, and police took him into custody.
Dorsey then observed an open wound on appellant's head.
Dorsey testified that the wound resembled a grazing gunshot
wound, but he acknowledged that appellant could have
sustained the wound as a result of his vehicle colliding with
the pole. Medics bandaged appellant's head wound at the
scene, but appellant refused further treatment.
5} Detective Mark Smith arrived at Gaetano's
residence to investigate the incident. Smith interviewed
Gaetano, who was still seated in a police cruiser when Smith
arrived. His partner, Detective Zimmer, interviewed
Gaetano's daughter-in-law, who had an infant child with
her. Smith described Gaetano's residence as a small
one-story, single-family dwelling, and that the entire front
of the home was riddled with bullet holes, some of which
penetrated the outer wall windows. After viewing the scene,
Smith contacted the Crime Scene Search Unit Columbus
("CSSU") to have the scene processed. CSSU
subsequently processed the scene at the 464 Whitethorne
Avenue residence, the residence at 242 Union Avenue, and the
site of the vehicle crash.
6} At trial, Smith testified about the evidence CSSU
found at the scenes, including photographs showing bullet
strikes both inside and outside Gaetano's residence and
to his vehicle which was parked nearby. Eleven shell casings
were collected from in front of the home, ten of which were
fired from a .40-caliber firearm and one from a 9 mm firearm.
Two shell casings were found inside the crashed vehicle as
well as blood samples taken from the driver's side door
and driver's seat. Evidence collected at the 464
Whitethorne Avenue address included two handguns, one with an
extended magazine, found under or inside the cushions on the
love seat. One of the firearms was a Glock model and the
other was a Smith & Wesson.
7} According to Smith, there was evidence of a small
trail of blood from the back door of the home to the love
seat where the two firearms and extended magazine were found.
There was also a pair of blood-stained sweatpants at the same
location and blood stains were found on the extended
magazine. Miranda Aufiero from Ohio Bureau of Criminal
Identification and Investigation ("BCI") testified
that there was single-source DNA in the blood samples taken
from the Glock firearm, the laser light for that firearm, the
cushion of the love seat, and the driver's side front
floor area of the crashed vehicle. These samples matched
appellant's DNA. Aufiero admitted that a mixed DNA
profile was also found on the Glock firearm and the laser
light for that firearm, and that she could not obtain a
useful DNA profile from the blood found on the Smith &
Wesson firearm. Gunshot residue tests of appellant's
hands were negative.
8} Kelby Ducat from BCI testified that he tested the
two weapons recovered from the Whitethorne Avenue residence
and found them to be operable. With regard to the shell
casings recovered from in front of Gaetano's home and
inside the crashed vehicle, Ducat found that ten had been
fired from the Glock and three from the Smith & Wesson.
Investigators did not remove and test any of the spent
projectiles imbedded in either the exterior or interior of
9} On August 23, 2017, a Franklin County Grand Jury
indicted appellant on three counts of felonious assault, in
violation of R.C. 2903.11, a felony of the second degree, one
count of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a
habitation, in violation of R.C. 2923.161, a felony of the
second degree; one count of discharging a firearm on or near
a prohibited premises, in violation of R.C. 2923.162, a
felony of the third degree; one count of improperly handling
a firearm in a motor vehicle, in violation of R.C. 2923.16, a
felony of the fourth degree; one count of tampering with
evidence, in violation of R.C. 2921.12, a felony of the third
degree; and one count of having a weapon while under
disability, in violation of R.C. 2923.13, a felony of the
third degree. Each of the counts was accompanied by a
three-year firearm specification. ...