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State of Ohio v. Benjamin Baldwin

September 30, 2011

STATE OF OHIO APPELLEE
v.
BENJAMIN BALDWIN APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE WADSWORTH MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF MEDINA, OHIO CASE No. 07CRB00833-A

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moore, Judge.

Cite as State v. Baldwin,

ss:

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, Benjamin Baldwin, appeals the judgment of the Wadsworth Municipal Court. This Court affirms.

I.

{¶2} On the evening of August 16, 2007, Anthony Maroni drove his father's F-150 long-bed truck, which was licensed to his mother, to Amber Baldwin's home on College Street in the City of Wadsworth. He arrived around 11:45 p.m. and parked in back of the residence. He testified that the truck was in "perfect" condition and that there was "nothing wrong with it" when he arrived. Anthony had met Amber a few days earlier at T Bar in Wadsworth. When he arrived at her home he found Amber, as well as the appellant, Benjamin Baldwin, and Baldwin's friend, Eric, inside of the residence. Amber is Benjamin's sister. Anthony had never met Baldwin or Eric before that night. Amber took a shower shortly after Anthony arrived and got ready to "hang out." Anthony, Amber, Baldwin, and Eric listened to music and drank beer in the residence.

{¶3} A few hours later, Baldwin went to the basement to do his laundry. Around 2:30 a.m., Anthony walked down to the truck to get some CDs. While walking up the exterior stairs to return to the residence, he saw a red spot on the wall near the top stair. He touched the spot and concluded that it was wet paint. At that time, Amber and Eric were in the living room. Anthony showed the red spot to Amber and they decided to clean the wall to avoid getting in trouble with Amber's landlord. They then noticed five to six red droplets of paint on the second or third step.

{¶4} After cleaning the wall, Anthony and Amber returned to the residence. Upon entering Amber's bedroom, they found Baldwin in the shower. When Baldwin stuck his head out of the shower to tell Amber he was in the shower, Anthony saw that Baldwin had red paint on his shoulder and back. Anthony and Amber spent the remainder of the evening in her bedroom. They awoke around 1:00 p.m. the next day, and Amber found a note allegedly from Baldwin. The note purportedly read: "Amber, me and Eric left. We will be back. I have to work at 5:00. And tell your new boyfriend that something happened to his truck last night and I stepped in it. That's why I had tracked red paint all over."

{¶5} After reading the note, Anthony testified that he ran straight to the truck and found the cap sliding window smashed, red paint all throughout the bed of the truck, and a red paint can next to the truck. Anthony called the police and the police arrived on scene to investigate. Anthony hand-wrote a purported copy of the note into the police report. The police took a series of photographs of the truck, a spot of red paint on the doorjamb to the basement and on the basement floor. There was red paint by the lock on the basement door. There were paint cans on shelves in the basement, one of which appeared to be similar to the paint can outside of his truck, but in a different color. Red paint also appeared in the shower and on a towel in Amber's bathroom. Anthony testified that he found a white t-shirt in the bathroom that was "dripping" with red paint. He further testified that Baldwin had been wearing a white t-shirt at the beginning of the night. Anthony testified that he had not given anyone permission to damage the truck. After his father found out about the damage, Anthony was no longer allowed to drive the truck.

{¶6} On August 20, 2007, a complaint was filed against Baldwin in the Wadsworth Municipal Court for Criminal Damaging, a violation of R.C. 2909.06(A)(1). On February 19, 2010, Baldwin pled not guilty and the case was tried to a jury on April 29, 2010. On April 30, 2010, the jury found Baldwin guilty of criminal damaging. On June 11, 2010, Baldwin was sentenced to a total of 60 days in jail, which was suspended, one year of probation, 24 hours of community service, court costs, and restitution to Anthony in the amount of $1,100.

{¶7} Baldwin timely filed a notice of appeal. He raises two assignments of error for our review.

II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ...


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