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State v. Sprouse

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

January 15, 2020

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
JOSEPH C. SPROUSE Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE Nos. CR-2017-06-2282 CR-2018-10-3544

          ANGELA M. KILLE, ATTORNEY AT LAW, FOR APPELLANT.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, AND JACQUENETTE S. CORGAN, ASSISTANT PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, FOR APPELLEE.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, Joseph Sprouse, appeals his convictions by the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} On October 19, 2018, while working the nightshift, two Akron police officers noticed a man who appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel of a car in the parking lot of a bar and strip club in the North Hill neighborhood of Akron. When they drove past the man's location a second time, the officers determined that they should stop to check the man's welfare. When they approached the car, the officers found a dog sitting in the passenger seat next to Mr. Sprouse, who was seated in the driver's seat. They engaged Mr. Sprouse in conversation and found his speech and manner to be sluggish, raising concern that he may have been suffering an opioid overdose. One of the officers also noticed a full syringe ready for use in a door compartment next to Mr. Sprouse. After the officers located the owner of the dog in the nearby business and removed the dog from the vehicle, they conducted a search of the car's interior. On the back seat, directly behind the driver's seat, they found a bag that contained a substance that they suspected to be methamphetamine and a case containing various items necessary for using drugs.

         {¶3} Mr. Sprouse was charged with two counts of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) and with one count of possessing drug abuse instruments in violation of R.C. 2925.12(A)/(C). A jury found Mr. Sprouse guilty of each charge. The trial court ordered Mr. Sprouse to serve eighteen months of community control and imposed a ninety-day j ail term for the charge of possessing drug abuse instruments, which was suspended provided that Mr. Sprouse successfully complete his period of community control.

         {¶4} Mr. Sprouse appealed, raising two assignments of error.

         II.

         C.A. 29406

         {¶5} As a result of the charges in this case, Mr. Sprouse was also charged with a community control violation in an earlier case. After Mr. Sprouse pleaded guilty to the community control violation, the trial court extended his period of community control in that case for eighteen months, consistent with the period of community control imposed in this case. Mr. Sprouse appealed both judgments, and this Court consolidated his appeals. His appellate brief, however, does not assign any errors related to the community control violation. Because Mr. Sprouse has not demonstrated any error in connection with that appeal, the trial court's judgment in the community control violation case is affirmed on that basis.

         C.A. 29407

         ASSIGNMENT ...


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