[Cite as State v. Taylor, 2020-Ohio-4852.]
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO
SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
State of Ohio Court of Appeals No. WD-19-092
Appellee Trial Court No. 2019CR0184
Edward Lamale Taylor DECISION AND JUDGMENT
Appellant Decided: October 9, 2020
Paul A. Dobson, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney, and
David T. Harold, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.
Autumn D. Adams, for appellant.
¶ 1 This is an appeal from a December 2, 2019 judgment of the Wood County
Court of Common Pleas, finding appellant guilty of one count of theft, in violation of
R.C. 2913.02, a misdemeanor of the first degree. For the reasons set forth below, this
court affirms the judgment of the trial court.
¶ 2 Appellant, Edward Lamale Taylor, sets forth the following two assignments
I: There was not sufficient evidence to support the jury’s conviction.
II: The jury’s conviction was against the manifest weight of the
¶ 3 The following undisputed facts are relevant to this appeal. On September
20, 2016, staff employed at the Bridgepointe Hotel in Northwood observed that several
large commercial washing machines had been stolen from the premises. The subject
machines had been placed in the parking lot and offered for sale following the acquisition
of new machines.
¶ 4 After discovery of the theft, the Northwood Police Department was
contacted and reported to the scene. The responding officer took a theft report, initiated
an investigation, and departed from the hotel premises.
¶ 5 Shortly thereafter, appellant was observed in the parking lot by the hotel
staff loading up one of the remaining for sale hotel washing machines onto his vehicle.
Appellant had not purchased the machine.
¶ 6 Upon observing the theft as it was transpiring, Joseph Ferguson, the hotel’s
assistant manager, went into the parking lot and confronted appellant. Given the
circumstances, Ferguson recognized that appellant had likely been responsible for
stealing the other washing machines earlier that day. Ferguson advised appellant that he
needed to return the other two washing machines.
¶ 7 In response, appellant refused to identify himself, acknowledged that he had
taken the other machines, disclosed that he had already scrapped them for cash, refused to
relinquish the cash proceeds, and fled the scene.
¶ 8 Prior to appellant absconding, Ferguson photographed appellant’s motor
vehicle license plate. Ferguson contacted the investigating officer, who promptly
returned to the scene. Ferguson furnished the officer with the license plate photograph.
Investigative follow-up revealed that the vehicle belonged to appellant and appellant was
positively identified as the perpetrator.
¶ 9 On May 2, 2019, appellant was indicted on one count of theft, in violation of
R.C. 2913.02(A)(1), a felony of the fifth degree. On December 2, 2019, the case
proceeded to a jury trial.
¶ 10 Appellant was convicted of theft, however, based upon the valuation level
of the used machines, appellant was found guilty of first degree misdemeanor theft. This
¶ 11 In the first assignment of error, appellant maintains that the jury lacked
sufficient evidence in support of the misdemeanor theft conviction. We do not concur.
¶ 12 It is well-established that when reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence
challenge upon appeal, we must examine the evidence in the light most favorable to the
prosecution and determine whether a rational trier of fact could have found the essential
elements of the offense proven beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Shelby, 6th Dist.
Wood No. WD-17-056, 2019-Ohio-1564, ¶ 19, citing State v. Jenks,
61Ohio St. 3d259
¶ 13 R.C. 2913.02(A)(1) establishes that, “[N]o person, with purpose to deprive
the owner of property or service, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the
property or services * * * without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give
¶ 14 In support of appellant’s sufficiency challenge, appellant principally
maintains that the circumstances surrounding the placement of the commercial washing
machines in the hotel parking lot should be construed as implied consent such that the
items were available to be taken free of charge, and similarly asserts that he did not
knowingly steal the machines. The record of evidence does not comport with appellant’s
¶ 15 Sailesh Merchant, the owner of the hotel and the owner of the washing
machines, testified at trial that the washing machines had been placed in the parking lot
with for-sale signs affixed to them following his purchase of replacement commercial
¶ 16 Consistently, Ferguson, the assistant manager of the hotel, testified at trial
that the machines had for-sale signs affixed to them prior to being unilaterally removed
and sold for scrap value by appellant.
¶ 17 Ferguson gave unequivocal testimony regarding the presence of for-sale
signage as Ferguson had shown the stolen washing machines to a prospective buyer on
the previous day. Ferguson elaborated that he had personally placed the signage upon the
machines in anticipation of the arrival of the prospective buyer.
¶ 18 The investigating officer from the Northwood Police Department testified
that the washing machines had been placed in the parking lot in a location approximately
15 feet from the hotel dumpsters, not in front of or immediately adjacent to the hotel
dumpsters so as to appear discarded and available on a gratis basis, as implied by
appellant in support of this appeal.
¶ 19 In addition, the officer further testified having personally observed for sale
signage upon the machines during police patrols of the parking lot prior to appellant’s
theft of the machines.
¶ 20 No evidence was presented at trial that anyone had either expressly or
impliedly communicated consent to appellant for removal of the items on any basis.
¶ 21 The jury found appellant guilty of theft, in violation of R.C. 2913.02. It
was determined that the value of the property stolen was less than $1,000.00, thereby
rendering the conviction to be at the first degree misdemeanor level.
¶ 22 The trial court stated in pertinent part at sentencing, “[Y]ou’ve got quite a
rap sheet here. Fortunately for you, Los Angeles County, California is not very
cooperative in providing us records * * * [O]ne of those charges out of Los Angeles
County was a murder charge * * * [Y]ou do have a prior conviction for intimidation of a
crime victim or witness for which you were sentenced to CCNO * * * I impose a
sentence of 180 days.”
¶ 23 The record reflects that on September 20, 2016, commercial washing
machines belonging to the Bridgepointe Hotel were located in the parking lot of the hotel.
The record shows that the machines were not in front, or immediately adjacent to, the
hotel dumpsters, so as to arguably indicate they had been discarded and were available to
be taken free of charge on a unilateral basis.
¶ 24 The record further reflects that for sale signage was placed upon the
machines, as the machines had been shown by the assistant manager to a prospective
buyer the day before appellant’s theft of the machines. The record contains no evidence
that express or implied consent had been furnished by anyone to appellant in connection
to this matter.
¶ 25 We find that the record shows that, when viewing the evidence in the light
most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could find the elements of the
misdemeanor theft offense proven beyond a reasonable doubt. We find appellant’s first
assignment of error not well-taken.
¶ 26 In appellant’s second assignment of error, appellant similarly maintains
that the theft conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence. We do not
¶ 27 In determining whether a conviction is against the manifest weight of the
evidence, the appellate court must review the record of evidence, weigh and consider all
reasonable inferences, consider witness credibility, and determine whether, in resolving
conflicts in the evidence, the jury clearly lost its way such that a manifest miscarriage of
justice resulted requiring reversal and a new trial. State v. Thompkins,
78Ohio St. 3d380
¶ 28 In support of the second assignment of error, appellant summarily
concludes that, “There were no indications that the intention of Bridgepointe was to keep
these machines.” Appellant thereby again suggests that the machines were available to
be taken without consent or cost. We do not concur.
¶ 29 The trial court heard testimony from the hotel owner, the hotel assistant
manager, and both investigating officers consistently reflecting that the washing
machines were placed in a position in the hotel parking lot that was neither in front of or
immediately adjacent to the hotel dumpsters. Exhibits introduced at trial show that the
machines were not placed at the curb, roadside, or in the dumpsters, so that it could
possibly be maintained that the items were discarded and available for the taking at no
¶ 30 The trial court heard testimony from multiple witnesses reflecting that for
sale signage had been placed upon the machines prior to appellant’s removal of the
¶ 31 By contrast, appellant summarily maintains, without supporting evidence,
that the machines had no signage and were placed in such a way that it should be
construed that they were available to be unilaterally taken free of charge.
¶ 32 The overwhelming weight of the evidence presented supports the disputed
¶ 33 Accordingly, we find the record devoid of evidence that the jury lost its
way and caused a manifest miscarriage of justice. We find appellant’s second assignment
of error not well-taken.
¶ 34 On consideration whereof, the judgment of the Wood County Court of
Common Pleas is hereby affirmed. Appellant is ordered to pay the costs of this appeal
pursuant to App.R. 24.
A certified copy of this entry shall constitute the mandate pursuant to App.R. 27.
See also 6th Dist.Loc.App.R. 4.
Mark L. Pietrykowski, J. _______________________________
Arlene Singer, J.
Thomas J. Osowik, J. JUDGE
This decision is subject to further editing by the Supreme Court of
Ohio’s Reporter of Decisions. Parties interested in viewing the final reported
version are advised to visit the Ohio Supreme Court’s web site at: