Conviction upheld in trailer theft case

Larry Limpf

The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man for receiving stolen property and engaging in corrupt activity.
The appeals court ruled prosecutors offered sufficient evidence to support the conviction of Kevin R. Baldwin, who was found guilty in Wood County Common Pleas Court in July 2018 for his role in the thefts of 45 trailers that he provided for sale.
Baldwin had challenged the verdict, arguing that witnesses for the prosecution were not credible and there was no direct evidence regarding how he obtained the trailers. He also challenged the trial court’s imposing the costs of prosecution on him.
One witness who testified against him was a convicted felon and another was a co-defendant in the case, William S. Gentry, who was living in Woodville at the time of the thefts and sales.
The thefts occurred between November 2013 and June 2017 in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. According to court records, Baldwin would acquire a stolen trailer and then contact Gentry, who would find buyers.
The state also presented the testimony of six persons whose trailers had been stolen, an investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol vehicle theft unit, and a man who admitted to stealing four trailers he sold to Baldwin, and Gentry.
“The state offered sufficient evidence to support Baldwin’s convictions of receiving stolen property and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Circumstantial evidence was offered that Baldwin knew or had reason to believe that the 45 trailers he provided for sale through Gentry had been obtained by theft. Moreover, that one of the state’s witnesses was a convicted felon and another was a co-defendant were credibility issues that went to the weight – not the sufficiency of the evidence,” the appeals court ruled.
Three charges against Gentry were dropped. He pled guilty to engaging in corrupt activity and he was placed on probation for five years and ordered to make restitution to the victims.
Some of the trailers contained a motorcycle, tools and other equipment at the time of the thefts.


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