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State of Ohio v. Rodney Turner

September 30, 2011

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RODNEY TURNER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Criminal Appeal from the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2010 CR 70.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Diane V. Grendell, J.

Cite as State v. Turner,

OPINION

Judgment: Affirmed.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Rodney Turner, appeals his convictions, following a jury trial in the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, for two counts of Felonious Assault, one count of Kidnapping, and one count of Abduction. Turner received an aggregate prison sentence of four years. The issues in this case are whether a bill of particulars with improperly numbered counts warrants a reversal of a conviction and whether a trial court is required to instruct a jury that a victim was released unharmed for the purposes of a Kidnapping conviction. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the court below.

{¶2} On April 23, 2010, Turner was indicted by the Ashtabula County Grand Jury for the following: Felonious Assault (Count One), a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2); Felonious Assault (Count Two), a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1); Kidnapping (Count Three), a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2) and (C)(1); Kidnapping (Count Four), a felony of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2); Kidnapping (Count Five), a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(3) and (C)(1); Kidnapping (Count Six), a felony of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(3); and

Disrupting Public Services (Count Seven), a felony of the fourth degree, in violation of R.C. 2909.04(A)(1).

{¶3} On May 12, 2010, Turner requested a bill of particulars, which the State provided on May 13, 2010.

{¶4} On August 5, 2010, the trial court granted the State's Motion to Dismiss Counts Five and Six of the Indictment and dismissed those counts.

{¶5} A trial was held on August 9 through August 12 of 2010. The following testimony was presented.

{¶6} Kelly Davis testified that she lives at 1025 West 38th Street in Ashtabula and that her daughter, Shelly, also lived at that address. She testified that Turner was her boyfriend, he spent a lot of time at her apartment, he spent the night there on some occasions, and that he kept clothes there.

{¶7} Kelly testified that on the morning of February 18, 2010, she and Turner were arguing about scrap metal and whether to buy a new washing machine. She stated that the two began yelling at each other and arguing about her ex-boyfriend. Kelly stated that, during this argument, Turner grabbed her by the hair and punched her "at least 8 to 10 times." She stated that he punched her so hard she flipped out of her chair. Kelly stated that Shelly got between her and Turner and pushed Turner away. Kelly testified that Turner then got a butcher knife and swung the knife toward her, over Shelly's shoulder and said "I'm gonna kill you." Kelly then moved from the kitchen into the living room, where Turner hit her on the back of the head with a lamp. Kelly went upstairs to get a phone, but the phone was not working. Kelly went back downstairs, heard a bat hit the floor, and heard Turner tell Shelly "you ain't going nowhere." Kelly testified that she tried to walk outside but Turner grabbed her, pulled her back in the house, and said "you ain't going nowhere." Kelly testified that she then asked Turner to let Shelly leave and he did. Kelly stated that Turner told her that if she called the police or showed up in court, he would kill her. Turner then left, and after he left, Kelly heard him say that she "deserved what she got."

{¶8} Kelly went to her neighbor's home and subsequently was taken in an ambulance for treatment. She stated that after the attack, she was coughing up blood and had a bloody nose. She testified that she sustained a broken nose, her eye socket was shattered in three places, and she has permanent nerve damage on one side of her face.

{¶9} Shelly Davis testified that she was staying at her mother's apartment on February 18th and that she had been sleeping on the couch. She stated that she was awoken by an argument between Kelly and Turner and she saw Turner grab Kelly by the hair and punch her in the face. Shelly stated that Turner had punched Kelly seven or eight times before Shelly tried to separate the two, and Turner continued punching Kelly several more times after Shelly attempted to intervene. Shelly also testified that Turner "tried to stab" Kelly over Shelly's shoulder but was unsuccessful at reaching Kelly. Shelly stated that Turner swung a lamp at Kelly, but she could not tell if he did hit Kelly. Shelly tried to leave but Turner told her "you ain't goin' nowhere," and swung a bat at her. She also testified that Kelly tried to leave, but Turner pulled Kelly back into the house by the hood on her sweatshirt.

{¶10} Jeremy Benson, Kelly's neighbor, who lived at 1015 West 38th Street, testified that on February 18, he was outside of his apartment smoking and heard "arguing coming from a couple doors down." He went inside of his apartment and a few minutes later, Shelly walked past, holding her baby. Jeremy invited Shelly inside of his apartment and noticed she had blood on her arm. Jeremy stated that he then resumed smoking while standing in front of the door, looking outside. He noticed Turner walk by the apartment, and heard him state "she deserved it," and that he was going to "kill her." After Jeremy saw Turner pass by, he observed Kelly walking down the sidewalk, with blood dripping from her mouth and nose. He testified that Kelly was "falling over constantly." He and his mother carried Kelly inside of their apartment and called 911.

{¶11} Jeremy testified that he did not see anyone other than Kelly, Shelly, and Turner exit the 1025 West 38th Street apartment. The State presented Jeremy with an exhibit, which was described as a "lightweight jacket" that Turner was wearing at the time of his arrest. Jeremy testified that this was not the jacket he saw Turner wearing on the date of the incident. Jeremy also stated that he was aware of a surveillance camera located outside, close to his mother's apartment.

{¶12} Crystal Benson, Jeremy's wife, testified that she was also present at the 1015 West 38th Street apartment on February 18th. She explained that she was standing at the door smoking when she saw Shelly walk by with her baby and that neither of the two were dressed appropriately for the cold weather. She stated that Shelly came into the apartment and after she entered, Turner walked by and stated that "she got what she *** deserved." After Turner passed by, Crystal saw Kelly outside, stumbling and disoriented. Crystal explained that Kelly's left eye was swollen shut and that it was dripping blood. She stated that after Kelly came inside, she was coughing up and throwing up blood.

{¶13} Crystal testified that she did not see anyone other than Kelly, Shelly, and Turner exit Kelly's 1025 West 38th Street apartment. Crystal stated that she entered Kelly's apartment later that day to help Shelly clean up blood in the kitchen. She observed knives on the floor and saw that the silverware drawer was open. The prosecutor showed Crystal the jacket Turner was wearing at the time of his arrest. Crystal testified that this was not the jacket she saw Turner wearing on the date of the incident and explained that he had been wearing a dark brown jacket.

{¶14} Kay Segall, Jeremy's mother, who also lived at 1015 West 38th Street, testified that she heard yelling coming from the direction of apartment 1025 on February 18, 2011. She heard someone in that direction yelling "let them out." She then saw Shelly running down the sidewalk. She testified that approximately four or five minutes later, she saw Turner exit the house and heard him say "I'll kill her." Soon thereafter, she saw Kelly walking up the sidewalk, bleeding. She helped clean Kelly's apartment later that day and saw trails of blood in the living room and in the kitchen.

{¶15} Officer Thomas Perry, of the City of Ashtabula Police Department, responded to the 911 call regarding Kelly's injuries. He testified that he saw Kelly being treated and that she appeared to have been "severely beaten." Officer Perry explained that her hair was "blood-soaked" and that her face was swollen. He testified that the police responded to several locations where they believed Turner may have been, but were unsuccessful in locating him at that time. Approximately three hours later, Officer Perry was on patrol, saw a suspect who he believed to be Turner walking on Station Avenue, and placed him under arrest.

{¶16} Officer Perry also testified regarding photographs presented as exhibits by the State. He stated that they depicted the circumstances he saw when he entered Kelly's apartment. Inside of the apartment, there were knives on the kitchen floor, two baseball bats by the front door, and coffee spilled on the kitchen floor.

{¶17} Officer Perry interviewed Turner after his arrest, and the State presented a video recording of the interview. Turner told Officer Perry that Kelly kicked him in the leg and pushed him into the wall and he responded by striking Kelly's face with his open hand. Officer Perry testified that he examined Turner's leg and did not see any injuries. He also stated that he did not observe any injuries to Turner's hands.

{¶18} Regarding which jacket Turner was wearing on the date of the incident, Turner stated to Officer Perry that he had been wearing the same jacket all day, but Officer Perry "was suspicious of the jacket that he was wearing because of the amount of blood on the scene," and because there was no blood on the jacket. Officer Perry testified that he did not return to Kelly's apartment to see if Turner had a brown jacket there, like the one the witnesses had described.

{¶19} Officer Perry testified that he was aware of surveillance cameras on the property but had "never been successful in obtaining any camera footage" from these cameras.

{ΒΆ20} James Noyes, the director of Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), testified that Metro Estates are AMHA apartments located on West 38th Street. He testified that AMHA had surveillance cameras located at Metro Estates. The video footage from these cameras is kept for thirty days and then recycled. He testified that the police did not ask him ...


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