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State v. Bartolomeo

June 25, 2009


APPEALS from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. (C.P.C. No. 08CR-05-4205) (C.P.C. No. 08CR-04-2435)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Brown, J.




Nunc Pro Tunc Decision Rendered on August 25, 2011

{¶1} In these consolidated appeals, defendant-appellant, Todd G. Bartolomeo, appeals from judgments of conviction and sentence entered by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas following a bench trial in which appellant was found guilty of vandalism and theft.

{¶2} In common pleas case No. 08CR-04-2435, appellant was charged with two counts of theft, in violation of R.C. 2913.02, and in common pleas case No. 08CR-05-4205, appellant was charged with one count of vandalism, in violation of R.C. 2909.05. The state filed a motion for joinder of the cases, which the trial court granted. Appellant waived his right to a jury trial, and the trial court conducted a bench trial August 14, 2008.

{¶3} At trial, the state presented the following evidence. In November 2007, E.M. and appellant began a dating relationship that lasted approximately three and a half months; E.M. testified that she decided to end the relationship in March 2008, after suspecting appellant had made misrepresentations to her regarding his background.

{¶4} On March 19, 2008, appellant and E.M. had dinner with another couple at E.M.'s residence. Earlier that day, E.M. called appellant and told him to cancel the dinner because she knew she would be ending the relationship; appellant, however, persuaded E.M. to go ahead with the dinner plans. That evening, appellant became upset when E.M. informed the other couple that she was breaking up with him. Appellant began crying and became hysterical, threatening suicide. Although appellant and E.M. did not reside together, she allowed him to remain at her residence that evening because she thought he was too upset to drive to his parent's house in Dublin.

{¶5} The next morning, E.M. told appellant he needed to gather his items and leave. Upon realizing that E.M. was serious about ending the relationship, appellant's mood changed. He entered a room E.M. used as an office and began collecting some DVDs. E.M. became concerned because her purse was in that room, and, when she thought appellant was not looking, she took the purse and placed it under a pile of clothing in her bedroom.

{¶6} Appellant, who was wearing a pullover jacket, went into E.M.'s bathroom and locked the door. After several minutes, appellant came out of the bathroom and went downstairs to E.M.'s garage, stating he was going to gather some tools. E.M.'s Subaru and appellant's Jeep were parked inside the garage, and both garage doors were down.

{¶7} After E.M. heard appellant's vehicle leave, she opened the garage door and heard a hissing sound; she then observed the left rear tire of her car deflating. E.M. discovered a nail on the sidewall of the tire, as well as a slit in the area where the nail entered. E.M. then noticed that her right rear tire was totally deflated, and that this tire also had a slit in it. The garage door timer light had just gone off, and E.M. estimated appellant had driven from the garage approximately two and a half minutes earlier.

{¶8} E.M., who always locked her car doors when the vehicle was parked in the garage, noticed that the car was unlocked, and she later realized her spare car key was missing. E.M. went back inside her residence and discovered that her cell phone and wallet were missing from her purse, and she also noticed that a utility knife was missing from the kitchen. E.M. testified that the purse contained a wallet with $250 in cash, a cell phone from her workplace valued at $499, and a cell phone case valued at $60. E.M. subsequently paid $554.86 to have the tires replaced, and she also paid $841.51 to have the vehicle "re-keyed" because of the missing spare key.

{¶9} On March 20, 2008, Gahanna Police Officer Norman Monroe was dispatched to E.M.'s residence. E.M. showed the officer her vehicle in the garage; Officer Monroe observed that both rear tires were flat, and that a nail was protruding from the side of the left rear tire. E.M. informed the officer that her wallet had been stolen, as well as a cell phone, debit cards, credit cards, and her driver's license.

{ΒΆ10} John Susi, a sales representative for Homes Lumber Corporation, testified on behalf of appellant. Appellant and Susi had become friends because appellant worked for one of Susi's clients. Appellant once asked Susi, who owned a truck, to help him move some of his items from E.M.'s residence. Appellant explained to Susi that he was attempting to ...

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