State v. Jordan, C-210603

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtBOCK, JUDGE
Citation2022 Ohio 2566
PartiesSTATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. STANLEY JORDAN, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberC-210603
Decision Date27 July 2022


STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,

STANLEY JORDAN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. C-210603

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

July 27, 2022

Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Trial No. B-2000676

Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed

Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Ron Springman Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee,

Timothy McKenna, for Defendant-Appellant.




{¶1} Defendant-appellant Stanley Jordan appeals his convictions of felonious assault and murder, arguing that the trial court should have severed the counts of murder from the counts of felonious assault, the convictions were based on insufficient evidence and were against the manifest weight of the evidence, and he was denied the effective assistance of counsel.

I. Facts and Procedure

{¶2} Jordan was indicted on two counts of murder in violation of R.C. 2903.02(A) and (B), and two counts of felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1) and (A)(2). The state alleged that Jordan murdered Kenneth Bradley at Bradley's home by stabbing him with a knife. Further, the state alleged that the following morning, Jordan stabbed Ocie Cutts, causing serious injury.

{¶3} Jordan moved to have counts 1 and 2, the counts involving Bradley, severed from counts 3 and 4, the counts involving Cutts. Jordan argued that the jury would not be able to separate the evidence for each incident, which would be prejudicial to Jordan. The trial court denied the motion, stating that appropriate jury instructions would be given to prevent any prejudice.

A. The Trial

1. Kenneth Bradley's murder a) Jordan, his girlfriend, and Bradley were together at Bradley's house

{4} Bradley's friend, Todd Rutledge, testified that on January 26, 2020, he and Bradley had finished work around 10:00 p.m. Bradley asked Rutledge to take him to Murray's Pub to meet friends. Bradley's friends, Jordan and Jordan's girlfriend,


Crystal Criswell, were across the street at a bar previously known as the Golden Nugget, so they went there instead. After a while at the bar, Bradley asked Rutledge if he wanted to go to Bradley's house with him, Jordan, and Criswell, but Rutledge declined. The trio left the club before Rutledge.

{¶5} Criswell testified that she, Jordan, and Bradley had been drinking at the Golden Nugget when they decided to go to Bradley's house, stopping at United Dairy Farmers on the way. The group arrived at Bradley's house, parked in the back yard, and went in through the front door. Criswell testified that Bradley had taken off his brown coveralls and was wearing an all-black hoodie-type shirt and all-black pants. She was initially certain that Bradley was not wearing the clothing shown in the picture of his body lying on the floor, but later testified that "it looked all black to me," and if "he did have on camo pants they looked black to me."

{¶6} Criswell testified that she started feeling sick around 11:00 p.m., so she told Jordan she was ready to leave. When the two left, Bradley came outside behind them, asking why they were leaving. Criswell told Bradley that she was tired, and then she and Jordan got into Jordan's car.

b) Bradley and Jordan fight

{7} Criswell testified that she and Jordan were sitting in the car for about two minutes before Jordan began to throw up. Bradley came outside to the passenger side of the car to ask Criswell if she had seen his cigarettes. Criswell responded that she could not find them. Bradley went back into the house, but came back outside to the driver's side where Jordan was seated and asked Jordan if he had seen the cigarettes. Jordan responded that he had not seen the cigarettes. Bradley began to search the floor of the back seats.


{¶8} Criswell testified that Jordan had become "frustrated, or whatever," and "[a]ll of a sudden, he gets out the car and they start fighting." Criswell heard Jordan tell Bradley "n****, I'll kill you." Criswell yelled at them to stop fighting, but they continued "grabbing each other, hemming each other up," and that they "tussled" all around the car, causing it to rock. Criswell said that the fight lasted about four to five minutes before she saw Bradley "dart out" and run "funny" into the house. Criswell testified that Jordan told her "it's blood" and he flung something white from his hands. Criswell asked Jordan if he had been shot or otherwise hurt, but Jordan said that he was fine. She did not see a knife.

{¶9} Criswell testified that Bradley was sitting "like, slumped" on the porch looking at her and Jordan as they pulled off. Jordan called her the next day to tell her that Bradley was dead and someone must have killed him after they had left. Criswell testified that she did not believe that someone else had killed Bradley. Jordan called Criswell nearly every day of that week from different phone numbers, telling her not to talk to police. Criswell testified that she was concerned that she would be implicated, so she spoke to Detective Sieving. Criswell stated that she was afraid of Jordan because he kept calling her.

c) An eyewitness testified that he saw person with a knife

{¶10} David Collins testified that he lived with his brother about two houses away from Bradley's, and that his friend, Jason, lived at the top of the hill. Collins only "knew of" Bradley, as they were neighbors and Collins had previously taken one of Bradley's trash cans, resulting in an "incident."

{¶11} Collins testified that he and his brother had gotten into an argument, so he took a walk. He walked "a little trail" and noticed a vehicle, which matched the


description of Jordan's vehicle, parked to his right with the lights on. Collins stated that, as he walked "back around up the trail to come back through the church parking lot, he walk[ed] up [his] street and heard a woman say 'Don't worry about it, he is not the police.'" Collins said that he responded that "'if he were the police" then she "would be locked up by now" and proceeded to Jason's house to talk about Jordan's vehicle. Collins heard the female's voice from inside the car tell "him" to get out of the car, then "no, stop, stop, stop," as he saw Bradley get out of the back passenger side of the car and start running. Collins testified that the driver, who had "long dreads," was holding what "appeared] to be a knife" as he chased Bradley. Collins knew the passenger was Bradley as they were neighbors.

{¶12} Collins testified that he watched "all the way up until they came to [Bradley's] porch area," which he could not see from where he was standing, and then he went into his house. He later told Bradley's family what he saw, and they conveyed that information to detectives.

d) Police investigated Bradley's murder

{¶13} Bradley's sister, Michelle Ford, was concerned on the morning of January 27, 2020, because she had not heard from Bradley since the previous night. The two usually spoke a few times each day. She went to Bradley's house and saw that the gate was open-normally, Bradley kept the gate closed. Ford saw drops of blood going up the steps and in the seat where Bradley usually sat on the porch. She went through the open door of Bradley's home to find his body lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Ford called 911. Ford testified that Bradley would leave the back door open only for certain people, such as her.


{¶14} Officer Amanda Bridewell was the first officer on the scene. She observed a pool of blood outside of Bradley's home that continued into the house. She saw a puddle of blood at the base of the steps that went into the front door of the house, blood on the porch furniture, and Bradley's body lying in the front middle of the room in a pool of blood. She testified that the blood trail also went between the fence line that went up to the residence.

{¶15} Officer Kathy Newsom, a 24-year Cincinnati officer with the homicide/criminalistics unit, testified that the blood trail on Bradley's property went from the back of the house, to the front door, and into the house. She explained that she knew the blood was dripping while Bradley was moving based on the "spines" of the blood drops, which indicated that the blood trail was going in one direction. Newsom testified that all of the blood collected at the scene belonged to Bradley. A forensic scientist with the Hamilton County coroner's office also testified regarding the process for testing blood samples and that the DNA tested belonged to Bradley.

{¶16} Dr. Karen Looman, chief deputy coroner, provided expert testimony about Bradley's stab wound. She stated that the stab wound to Bradley's heart was consistent with a pocketknife. Moreover, a number of defensive wounds were consistent with a knife. Dr. Looman testified that a stab to the heart does not cause instantaneous death because the wound through the heart is not what kills a person. The blood would first leak into the protective sac around the heart versus squirting out. Dr. Looman stated that someone can be stabbed in the heart and still walk several blocks, depending on how fast their heart is beating and how fast the blood is leaking. She said that a person can live for about five to 15 minutes before bleeding out and dying.


{¶17} Dr. Looman testified that the blood trail at Bradley's house was consistent with a stabbing. She testified that no blood was found in the back yard or the grassy area. Rather, the blood started at the back door and the blood oozed out, soaking his shirt and pants first before drops began to hit the ground. She stated that very little blood would be on the attacker due to how it leaks.

{¶18} Dr. Looman explained that rigor mortis sets in between 12 and 24 hours postmortem and any blood left in the body would settle in place, though it shifts if the body shifts. Bradley's body was stiff and cold...

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