Friday First District Roundup 2-21-20

Each Friday, we highlight decisions of the First District Court of Appeals in the past week. For question about these cases, contact Vanessa Seeger.

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In re: X.M.W. and E.A.W.
Case #C190595

Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:

Mother and Father appeal the termination of their parental rights over their two young children. Our thorough review of the record, however, convinces us that clear and convincing evidence exists supporting the juvenile court’s decision, including chronic substance abuse problems, a lack of concern or understanding over one of the child’s serious medical issues, and a failure to make reasonable progress with their case plans, among other matters. We accordingly affirm the trial court’s decision.

State of Ohio v. Deundrae Buie
Case # C190163

Quote from Judge Winkler's Opinion:

After he fled from the police during a traffic stop in October 2018, defendant-appellant Deundrae Buie was arrested for several offenses, including obstructing official business, in violation of R.C. 2921.31. At the time of his arrest, the police seized $2,700 found on Buie’s person. Later, pursuant to a guilty plea, Buie was convicted of the obstructing offense. At the same time, the state dismissed the other charges pending against Buie in accordance with a plea agreement. Although the complaint setting forth the obstructing offense did not contain a necessary forfeiture specification related to the seized cash, and Buie had asked for the return of the cash at sentencing, the trial court ordered the forfeiture of the cash in addition to imposing a sentence. Buie challenges only the forfeiture order in this appeal.

In his sole assignment of error, Buie argues the forfeiture was improper because it was ordered without due process and without cause. He seeks a reversal of the forfeiture order and an order providing for the return of his cash. The state concedes that the trial court erroneously ordered forfeiture of the cash and does not contest Buie’s claims that the cash belongs to him, the cash is not subject to forfeiture, and the court should order the cash returned to him.

State of Ohio v. Jill Guthrie
Case #C180661

Quote from Judge Crouse's Opinion:

In an apparent road-rage incident with Beverley Renadette, defendant-appellant Jill Guthrie was charged with criminal damaging and menacing. After a bench trial, Guthrie was acquitted of the menacing charge, but was convicted of criminal damaging and was ordered to pay restitution.

In two assignments of error, Guthrie argues that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering restitution without conducting a hearing on the amount of restitution under R.C. 2929.08(A)(1), and that her conviction for criminal damaging was based on insufficient evidence and against the manifest weight of the evidence. We overrule Guthrie’s assignments of error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Ohio v. Gregory Green
Case #C180656

Quote from Judge Bergeron's Opinion:

In the midst of a tragedy, a missing cellphone provides the centerpiece for this appeal. After his girlfriend passed away unexpectedly in her car, the defendant-appellant, Gregory Green, procured her iPhone and then never returned it. According to him, it was lost, but the trial court didn’t see it that way, disbelieving him and convicting him for theft by deception. On challenges to the weight and sufficiency of the evidence, we ultimately affirm the trial court’s judgment.

On October 5, 2018, Jenna Munninghoff tragically passed away in her car outside of her home. Dispatched to investigate the matter, police officer Robert Voland arrived on the scene. While there, Officer Voland was approached by Mr. Green, who informed Officer Voland that he was Ms. Munninghoff’s boyfriend. Officer Voland then inquired if Mr. Green knew of a way to contact Ms. Munninghoff’s next of kin. According to Officer Voland, Mr. Green explained that the pertinent contact information was on his cellphone in the car. After retrieving the cellphone from the car, Mr. Green accessed the information that the officer needed. After this encounter, Mr. Green pocketed the phone and took it with him when he left.

State of Ohio v. Stephanie Kinley
Case #C190270

Quote from Judge Myer's Opinion:

Defendant-appellant Stephanie Kinley appeals from the trial court’s judgment convicting her of five counts of theft. In three assignments of error, she argues the sentences imposed were contrary to law, her trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance, and the trial court’s judgment entry does not reflect the correct amount of jail-time credit.

Because the trial court’s judgment entry incorrectly reflects that Kinley was awarded two days of jail-time credit, when the trial court had actually awarded Kinley 52 days of jail-time credit, we remand this case for the trial court to correct nunc pro tunc the clerical error in its judgment entry. The judgment of the trial court is otherwise affirmed.

State of Ohio v. Zidkijah Warren
Case #C180649

Quote from Judge Zayas' Opinion:

Zidkijah Warren appeals his conviction, after a bench trial, for criminal damaging. In one assignment of error, Warren contends that the trial court erred by improperly considering hearsay statements of the prosecutor that contributed to his conviction. Finding merit to his assignment of error, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the cause for further proceedings.

State of Ohio v. Anton Ceaser
Case #C180648

Quote from Judge Myers' Opinion:

Defendant-appellant Anton Ceaser appeals his conviction, following a bench trial, for domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A).

In two assignments of error, Ceaser argues that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence and was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Finding his arguments to be without merit, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Ohio, Ex Rel. S.L. v. Judge, Municipal Court, Hamilton County, Ohio
Case #C190248

Quote from Judge Winkler's Opinion:

This is an original action filed pursuant to Article I, Section 10a of the Ohio Constitution, also known as Marsy’s Law, which allows crime victims to petition a court of appeals during the pendency of a criminal case. Relator S.L. is the alleged victim in a domestic-violence prosecution in Hamilton County Municipal Court. S.L. filed this petition for a writ of prohibition seeking an order from this court restraining respondent, former Judge Fanon Rucker, from enforcing an order that would allow the defendant and his counsel to access S.L.’s residence. Because we determine that former Judge Rucker lacked authority to issue the order, and S.L. has no adequate remedy at law, we grant the writ of prohibition.