First District Friday Roundup! (7/1)

Next Monday is Independence Day and the library will be closed! Enjoy your 3 day weekend!

State of Ohio v. Jalil Saheid Dixon
Quote from Judge Zayas:
Dixon pled guilty to one count of discharging a firearm upon or over a public highway and one count of aggravated assault with a one-year gun specification. Dixon admitted that after he was struck by a car, he obtained a gun and fired multiple shots at that car that hit him. No one was injured. The trial court sentenced Dixon to a 36-month term of incarceration for discharging the firearm, an 18-month term for the aggravated assault, and a 12-month term for the gun specification to be served prior and consecutive to the 18-month term. The two terms were ordered to be served consecutively, for an aggregate sentence of 66 months.

Discharging a firearm upon or over a public highway and aggravated assault were not allied offenses of similar import because the victim of the offense of discharging a firearm was the public, and the victim of the aggravated assault was the driver of the vehicle that was fired upon.

State of Ohio v. Gregg Thomas
Quote from Judge Bergeron:
In January 2021, defendant-appellant Gregg Thomas worked at the KFC/Taco Bell in Norwood. During one of his shifts, some type of disagreement erupted between Mr. Thomas and the manager, Ruth Whetstone. Frustrated by his behavior, Ms. Whetstone sent Mr. Thomas home and assumed that he left the premises. But about a half hour later, other employees alerted her to the fact that he was lingering in the parking lot near her car. Prying open the door, Ms. Whetstone observed Mr. Thomas “ranting and raging” outside the restaurant while “destroying” her car, which now had a conspicuous pile of trash dumped on its roof. She confronted Mr. Thomas about the scene and claims that he admitted, “Yeah, I did it”—although it remains unclear whether he was simply acknowledging littering on her car or actually inflicting damage to it (that she would soon notice). Ms. Whetstone then called the Norwood police, who escorted Mr. Thomas off the property. Afterwards, Ms. Whetstone inspected her car only to discover the bumper kicked in and a windshield wiper bent backwards.
The Norwood police charged Mr. Thomas with criminal damaging pursuant to R.C. 2909.06(A)(1). Ms. Whetstone was the only witness during the bench trial, and in addition to her testimony, the state produced a photograph of Mr. Thomas standing near Ms. Whetstone’s car with what appears to be a pile of trash on the roof. No other damage to Ms. Whetstone’s vehicle is visible in the photograph. The trial court found Mr. Thomas guilty of criminal damaging and sentenced him to 30 days in jail suspended, six months of probation, and court costs.

Where circumstantial evidence existed that defendant was the only person near a damaged vehicle, and that the damaged vehicle belonged to a manager with whom defendant had recently quarreled, defendant’s conviction for criminal damaging was not based on insufficient evidence or against the manifest weight of the evidence.
         The trial court did not violate the corpus delicti rule when admitting defendant’s confession where the totality of the evidentiary record provided a modicum of evidence outside defendant’s confession.

Dix Road Property Management, LLC v. Susan Brown, Steven C. Krumins
Quote from Judge Myers:
Dix filed a complaint against Brown and Krumins, who were former tenants of Dix, asserting claims for breach of contract and a violation of R.C. 5321.01 et seq. The complaint alleged that Brown and Krumins failed to pay rent, late fees, pet fees, utilities, maintenance charges, and other similar charges, and that, contrary to the requirements under the parties’ lease and the requirements imposed on them pursuant to R.C. 5321.05, they caused physical damage to the property, beyond normal wear and tear. Dix sought $5,796.03 in damages, as well as pre-and postjudgment interest “at the contract rate of 18% per year (lease at §1.7) or the current legal rate, whichever is greater, from the date Defendants surrendered possession of the subject premises.”
Brown and Krumins asserted counterclaims for unjust enrichment and breach of contract against Dix. The case was tried before a municipal court magistrate. On October 27, 2021, the magistrate issued a judgment following trial in favor of Dix on both its claims and on Brown and Krumins’s counterclaims. She awarded Dix judgment in the amount of $4,438.08, but did not award pre-or postjudgment interest.

Where the trial court failed to rule on the plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate’s decision, the trial court’s entry adopting the magistrate’s decision was not a final, appealable order.  

Jared B. Chamberlain, Special Administrator of the Estate of Isaac Harrell v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Quote from Judge Bock:
In 2017, Harrell was a resident of Indianspring, a nursing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. With his health in decline, Harrell appointed Indianspring as his Medicaid representative. In February 2017, Indianspring applied for Medicaid benefits retroactive to November 2016 on Harrell’s behalf. The Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (“HCJFS”) approved Medicaid benefits beginning in September 2017.
But HCJFS denied Harrell retroactive benefits for the ten-month period between November 2016 and August 2017. HCJFS informed Harrell that his countable resources exceeded the $2,000 resource threshold under Ohio Adm.Code 5160:1-3-05-1(B)(10) during that ten-month period. Specifically, he owned real property in Laurel, Mississippi, worth around $100,000. Despite listing the property as “for sale” in September 2016, it did not sell until September 2017.

The trial court did not err when it affirmed the denial of plaintiff’s application for retroactive Medicaid benefits because plaintiff’s resources included real property that plaintiff had the legal authority to sell, and plaintiff’s resources exceeded the resource maximum.