Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Convicted Armed Robber Should Get a New Trial

The Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that a Summit County man convicted of armed robbery should get a new trial because his conviction was against the manifest weight of evidence presented at his trial.

Akron police arrested Robert Brown for allegedly robbing the EuroGyro restaurant at gunpoint in September 2011. Brown was convicted, and he was sentenced to six years in prison. Brown appealed his sentence, arguing that the evidence police gathered was insufficient to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

While investigating the robbery, police said they initially had no leads because the robber wore a mask on the lower part of his face, and the EuroGyro employee could not identify a suspect from photos police provided. With no leads, police looked at possible suspects on a database within a one-block radius from the restaurant. They saw that Brown “relatively matched” the employee’s description of height and build, and that Brown had previously been arrested two times for gun possession. That led police to arrest Brown for the EuroGyro robbery.

Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Donna Carr wrote in the court’s opinion that there was sufficient evidence to arrest Brown, but said “the evidence weighs heavily against the conviction.”

The EuroGyro employee who witnessed the robbery said the robber was around five feet seven inches and weighed around 175 pounds. He didn’t notice any tattoos on the robber’s body, and he testified that he did not think Brown was the robber.¬† Brown is around five feet eleven inches tall and has a lean build. He also has several tattoos. ¬†There was surveillance video that “lacked detail to demonstrate that the tattoos are the same [as the robber’s].”

“For these reasons, we conclude that this is an exceptional case in which the weight of the evidence at trial weighs heavily against the conclusion that Brown is the person who robbed EuroGyro,” Carr wrote.

Judges Eve Belfance and Beth Whitmore concurred in the June 26 opinion that reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for further proceedings.

State v. Brown, 2013-Ohio-2665
Criminal Appeal From: Summit County Court of Common Pleas
Judgment Appealed From Is: Reversed and Remanded
Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: June 26, 2013

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