Wednesday, December 4, 2013

State v. Small case brief

State v. Small case brief summary
2007 Ohio 6771

Defendant appealed a judgment from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (Ohio), which convicted him of aggravated murder with specifications and having a weapon while under disability, in violation of R.C. 2903.01, 2941.145, 2941.141, 2941.149, and 2923.13.

Defendant was allegedly owed money by the victim. Upon seeing the victim, defendant pushed him against a wall, forced him to open his mouth, and fatally shot him in the mouth. A jury found defendant guilty of the criminal offenses charged, and the trial court found him guilty of the specifications attached thereto.


  • On appeal, the court found no violation of defendant's speedy trial rights under R.C. 2945.71, based on tolling due to continuances and discovery under R.C. 2945.72(H) and (E), such that denial of his dismissal motion was not error. 
  • There was no abuse of discretion in the trial court's evidentiary rulings with respect to witness testimony, as it constituted a then existing state of mind under Evid. R. 803(3), a statement against interest under Evid. R. 804(B)(3), or an admission of a party opponent under Evid. R. 801(D)(2)(a) and 901(A). 
  • The weight and sufficiency of the evidence supported the convictions. 
  • It was properly established that defendant acted with prior calculation and design by his actions. 
  • An improper remark by the prosecutor during closing argument did not deprive defendant of a fair trial due to the overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

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