State v. Gartrell

Decision Date24 November 2014
Docket NumberNo. 9–14–02.,9–14–02.
Citation24 N.E.3d 680
PartiesSTATE of Ohio, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. Curtis Lee GARTRELL, Defendant–Appellant.
CourtOhio Court of Appeals

Brian G. Jones for Appellant.

Brent Yager for Appellee.

OPINION

PRESTON, J.

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Curtis Lee Gartrell (Gartrell), appeals the December 18, 2013 judgment entry of sentence of the Marion County Court of Common Pleas. He argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress, that his convictions were based on insufficient evidence and against the manifest weight of the evidence, and that the trial court erred by overruling his motion to dismiss the counts against him based on a speedy-trial violation under R.C. 2945.71. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

{¶ 2} On April 10, 2013, the Marion County Grand Jury indicted Gartrell on Count One of trafficking in heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), (C)(6), a second-degree felony, with a forfeiture specification under R.C. 2941.1417. (Doc. No. 3). The indictment stemmed from a March 26, 2013 traffic stop of a taxi cab in which Gartrell was a passenger. (See Doc. No. 21). During the stop, Gartrell admitted to having a bag of marijuana in his pocket and consented to a search of his luggage in the trunk, in which officers discovered 499 bindles of heroin. (See id. ). Gartrell also had over $1,700 cash on his person. (See id. ).

{¶ 3} The trial court held an arraignment hearing on April 15, 2013. (See Doc. No. 9). Gartrell entered a plea of not guilty. (Id. ).

{¶ 4} On April 17, 2013, Gartrell filed a request for discovery and a “request by defendant for notice of prosecutor's intention to use evidence.” (Doc. Nos. 11, 12). Also on April 17, 2013, Gartrell filed a request for a bill of particulars. (Doc. No. 10).

{¶ 5} On April 25, 2013, the trial court set a trial date of June 25, 2013. (Doc. No. 18).

{¶ 6} On May 3, 2013, Gartrell filed a motion for extension of time to file motion to suppress.” (Doc. No. 19).

{¶ 7} On May 6, 2013, plaintiff-appellee, the State of Ohio, filed its “response to discovery, request for discovery, notice of intention to use evidence, and notice of intent to impeach with crimes older than ten years.” (Doc. No. 20). Also on May 6, 2013, the State filed a bill of particulars. (Doc. No. 21).

{¶ 8} On May 8, 2013, the trial court granted Gartrell's motion for an extension of time to file a motion to suppress, ordering that Gartrell file his motion to suppress by May 28, 2013. (Doc. No. 22).

{¶ 9} On May 28, 2013, Gartrell filed a motion to suppress and exclude evidence.” (Doc. No. 23). In it, Gartrell moved for the suppression of evidence related to [t]he stop of the vehicle [Gartrell] was in,” [a]ny statements and comments made by [Gartrell],” [a]ny and all evidence seized from the vehicle,” and [a]ny and all evidence seized from [Gartrell's] person.” (Id. ). Gartrell argued that officers “did not have lawful cause to detain and arrest” him, that he “never knowingly consented to a search,” that the search of him “was performed illegally,” that he made his statements while he “was under custodial arrest” and before being read his Miranda warnings, and that his statements were obtained in violation of his constitutional rights. (Id. ).

{¶ 10} On June 4, 2013, Gartrell moved to continue the jury trial scheduled for June 25, 2013. (Doc. No. 36).

{¶ 11} On June 10, 2013, the trial court held a hearing on Gartrell's motion to suppress. (June 10, 2013 Tr. at 4). The taxi-cab driver was not present to testify on June 10, 2013, so counsel for Gartrell requested an opportunity to locate him so that he could testify. (Id. at 4–5, 109). At Gartrell's counsel's request, the trial court continued the hearing until June 27, 2013, at which time Gartrell offered the testimony of the cab driver. (June 27, 2013 Tr. at 3–5); (Doc. No. 38). At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court took Gartrell's motion to suppress under advisement. (June 27, 2013 Tr. at 19). Gartrell filed a written closing argument on July 8, 2013. (Doc. No. 42).

{¶ 12} On July 18, 2013, the trial court filed an entry overruling Gartrell's motion to suppress and exclude evidence. (Doc. No. 43).

{¶ 13} On July 31, 2013, the trial court set a new trial date of September 24, 2013. (Doc. No. 44).

{¶ 14} On September 9, 2013, Gartrell's counsel filed a motion to withdraw from representing Gartrell. (Doc. No. 45). On September 12, 2013, the trial court set Gartrell's counsel's motion for hearing on September 16, 2013. (Doc. No. 46). On September 18, 2013, the trial court granted Gartrell's counsel's motion to withdraw, appointed new counsel to represent Gartrell, and continued the trial. (Doc. No. 47). In its entry, the trial court explained, “Time tolled for speedy trial purposes pursuant to the provisions of R.C. 2945.72(H).” (Id. ).

{¶ 15} On October 3, 2013, Gartrell filed a demand for discovery,” a “demand for testimony and independent laboratory analysis,” a “response to the State of Ohio's demand for discovery,” and a request for notice of intent to use evidence.” (Doc. Nos. 50, 51, 52, 53).

{¶ 16} On October 11, 2013, the trial court set a new trial date of November 14, 2013. (Doc. No. 54).

{¶ 17} On October 29 and 31 and November 6, 2013, Gartrell requested that the clerk of courts issue subpoenas duces tecum to two employees of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (“BCI”), Scott Dobransky (“Dobransky”) and Larry Rentz (“Rentz”).1 (Doc. Nos. 55, 57, 63).

{¶ 18} On November 1, 2013, the State filed a supplemental response to Gartrell's discovery requests. (Doc. No. 59).

{¶ 19} On November 7, 2013, the State filed a superseding indictment, indicting Gartrell on: Count One of trafficking in heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), (C)(6), a second-degree felony; and Count Two of possession of heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), (C)(6), a second-degree felony. (Doc. No. 65). The superseding indictment also included a forfeiture specification under R.C. 2941.1417 to Counts One and Two. (Id. ).

{¶ 20} Also on November 7, 2013, Gartrell filed a “motion and proposed order for discovery sanctions” under Crim.R. 16(K). (Doc. No. 70). Gartrell requested that the trial court prohibit the State from calling Rentz as a witness and from introducing his written report, arguing that the State failed to timely produce Rentz's name and written report. (Id. ). Alternatively, Gartrell requested that the trial court continue the trial set for November 14, 2013. (Id. ).

{¶ 21} On November 8, 2013, the trial court set a motion hearing on November 12, 2013. (Doc. No. 72).

{¶ 22} Also on November 8, 2014, the State filed a response to Gartrell's motion for discovery sanctions. (Doc. No. 73).

{¶ 23} On November 12, 2013, the trial court arraigned Gartrell on the superseding indictment, and Gartrell entered pleas of not guilty. (Doc. No. 74).

{¶ 24} On November 21, 2013, the trial court set a new trial date of December 3, 2013. (Doc. No. 80).

{¶ 25} The next day, the trial court overruled Gartrell's motion for discovery sanctions but granted his motion for a continuance of the trial. (Doc. No. 81).

{¶ 26} On December 3, 4, and 5, 2013, the trial court held a jury trial on the superseding indictment. (Trial Tr., Vol. One, at 9–10); (Doc. No. 112). The jury found Gartrell guilty of both counts in the superseding indictment. (Trial Tr., Vol. Five, at 738–741); (Doc. Nos. 109, 110).

{¶ 27} After the jury returned its verdict, the trial court sentenced Gartrell. (Trial Tr., Vol. Five, at 743). The trial court merged Counts One and Two for purposes of sentencing, and the State elected to proceed with sentencing on Count One. (Id. at 774); (Doc. No. 112). The trial court sentenced Gartrell to, among other things, six years in prison and a fine. (Id. at 766); (Id. ). The trial court filed its judgment entry of sentence on December 18, 2013. (Doc. No. 112).

{¶ 28} On January 17, 2014, Gartrell filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 123). He raises four assignments of error for our review. We will address the second and third assignments of error together.

Assignment of Error No. I
Trial court committed reversible error by denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence where officers did not have reasonable suspicion nor [sic] probable cause to follow the vehicle transporting appellant Gartrell; nor did officers have reasonable suspicion nor [sic] probable cause to subsequently initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution. (Tr., Vol. I–III, passim. )

{¶ 29} In his first assignment of error, Gartrell argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress because: officers did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to follow and stop the taxi cab; one of the officers exceeded the scope of the traffic stop when he immediately questioned Gartrell concerning whether he had marijuana on his person and then searched the taxi cab's trunk; and officers failed to timely inform Gartrell of his Miranda rights because he was “effectively in custody from the moment of the stop.” (Appellant's Brief at 18).

{¶ 30} A review of the denial of a motion to suppress involves mixed questions of law and fact. State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372, 797 N.E.2d 71, ¶ 8. At a suppression hearing, the trial court assumes the role of trier of fact and, as such, is in the best position to evaluate the evidence and the credibility of witnesses. Id. See also State v. Carter, 72 Ohio St.3d 545, 552, 651 N.E.2d 965 (1995). When reviewing a ruling on a motion to suppress, “an appellate court must accept the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported by competent, credible evidence.” Burnside at ¶ 8, citing State v. Fanning, 1 Ohio St.3d 19, 437 N.E.2d 583 (1982). With respect to the trial court's conclusions of law, however, our standard of review is de novo, and we must...

To continue reading

Request your trial
24 cases
  • State v. Russell
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • 19 Mayo 2022
    ...together and similarly packaged is the same controlled substance as that tested. Id. at ¶ 32, citing State v. Gartrell, 2014-Ohio-5203, 24 N.E.3d 680, ¶ 96 (3rd Dist.); State v. Edwards, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 12AP-992, 2013-Ohio-4342, ¶ 40; State v. Mitchell, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 93076,......
  • State v. Workman
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • 7 Diciembre 2015
    ... ... State v. Gartrell, 3d Dist., 2014-Ohio-5203, 24 N.E.3d 680, 51, quoting State v. Jenkins, 3d Dist. Union No. 141010, 2010-Ohio-5943, 2010 WL 4962840, 9, citing Mapp at 649, 81 S.Ct. 1684 and Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 394, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652 (1914). { 12} At a suppression hearing, the ... ...
  • State v. Crocker
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • 16 Junio 2015
    ... ... First, [a]s long as the trial court's disposition occurs within a reasonable time, a defendant's motion to suppress tolls the speedy trial clock from the time the defendant files the motion until the trial court disposes of the motion. State v. Gartrell, 2014-Ohio-5203, 24 N.E.3d 680, 107 (3d Dist.), quoting State v. Curtis, 3d Dist. Marion No. 90211, 2002-Ohio-5409, 2002 WL 31250286, 12 ; State v. Waldron, 4th Dist. Ross No. 93 CA 1978, 1994 WL 510046, *2. Here, Crocker executed a waiver of the speedy-trial limits for a period until 30 ... ...
  • State v. Dukes
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • 7 Agosto 2017
    ... ... In City of Cleveland v ... Oko , 2016-Ohio-7774, --N.E.3d--, 20 (8th Dist.), the court noted that "[a]ll challenges to the validity of a traffic stop are subject to the same Terry standard of review, even where the defendant raises allegations of pretext." Additionally, in State v ... Gartrell , 2014-Ohio-5203, 24 N.E.3d 680, 68 (3rd Dist.), the court Page 12 noted that "[a]ny ulterior motives for the traffic stop are irrelevant to the determination of whether the officers possessed a reasonable, articulable suspicion justifying the stop." (internal citations omitted). {18} Here, ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT