The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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The Sixth District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Perrysburg man who was charged with forgery, receiving stolen property, and misuse of a credit card in a case stemming from break-ins of vehicles parked at the Perrysburg YMCA in 2007 and 2008.

The appellate court upheld the conviction of Martin Gaines, who had been charged with trying to purchase merchandise at the Pilot Travel Center in Lake Township and a Kmart store in Perrysburg with stolen credit cards.

According to court transcripts, a YMCA member on Dec. 18, 2007 reported her purse stolen after someone had smashed a window of her parked vehicle. When she arrived home after the break-in, she discovered her credit card had already been used to purchase an item costing more than $500 at Kmart.

About two weeks later, another Y member reported a vehicle break-in and purse theft. A man later identified as Gaines attempted to use her credit card that day at the travel center to buy CB radio equipment. After the credit card was declined, the salesman noticed the card was issued in the name of a woman and took the card to his manager. When he returned to the counter, the man had left the store.

Using security videotape from the travel center and Gaines’ driver’s license photo, detectives from the Perrysburg and Lake Township police departments assembled photo arrays and a Kmart manager and the travel center salesman were able to identify the suspect.

Gaines was convicted in Wood County Common Pleas Court and sentenced to be incarcerated four years and pay restitution.

His appeal contended his trial counsel was “ineffective” because he didn’t file a motion to suppress the identification made through the photo arrays. The appeal argued the arrays were suggestive because his image was larger than other photos in each array.

Citing a U.S. Supreme Court case in 1984 that established a two-prong test to determine ineffective assistance of counsel, the appellate court ruled Gaines’ trial court counsel didn’t fail in his duties. It also rejected his argument the photo array process was sufficiently flawed to cause “irreparable misidentification” by the salesman and store manager. Both men later identified Gaines at his trial.

The appellate court also rebuffed his arguments the convictions on four counts weren’t supported by the “manifest weight of the evidence” and the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences.

The appellate court did support his claim there was no testimonial or documentary evidence presented at trial to substantiate the order for Gaines to pay $435.77 in restitution to one of the woman for the broken window.

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